KFC made waves a few weeks ago with its creation and then promotion of the Double Down, a sandwich made with two pieces of fried chicken instead of bread. Then it launched a "Buckets for a Cure" campaign with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, donating money for breast cancer research for every "pink bucket" of chicken sold.
But the media and activists are not happy with the campaign, noting that maintaining a healthy body weight is a top recommendation from of the American Cancer Society. A commenter on Slashfood called the program the "blood diamonds of charitable donations."
Who are we to tell a company whether or not they can support breast cancer research? But a full-fledged campaign right after releasing its 32-grams-of-fat creation on the world may not have been the best plan for a fast food restaurant that deals with critics on a regular basis.
If the company did want to launch a cause program with this timing, partnering with a charity more suited to KFC and its products would have been a better call. Working with an organization that encourages people to exercise, teaching kids about a balanced diet, or donating food to the hungry all would have been better ideas. Sure, there would still be detractors, but it would make more sense.
All of this confirms that every charity, no matter how well-known and popular, is a perfect fit for every brand. KFC could have saved itself some grief by thinking about the partnership and how consumers would react.
Every partnership reflects on a brand, and while Susan G. Komen probably won't take a hit for its relationship with KFC, cause programs are always more impactful when they're a partnership between a corporation and a well suited organization.