Does KFC really think Christmas carols are stupid?

Now that Christmas is officially over, it’s time that I start blogging again.

And that means, among other things, shining light on those who are hostile to the teachings of the Catholic Church.


As of late, my attention has been focused on fast food giant KFC.

I can’t believe this went un-reported for so long. I guess that’s to be expected, though. When I first came across this earlier in the week I thought I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit.

I wasn’t.

Apparently, the following commercial is part of an ad campaign released by KFC back in early December in the U.K.

It’s only two and a half minutes long but it’s excruciating to watch.

So, did you catch that?

Christmas carols are “stupid songs.”

In reality, people “typically hate each other’s guts”.

Giving in to our vices is a good thing.

And lawsuits are usually how broken windows are resolved.

What type of misanthropic, bitter society does KFC think we live in?

Now, I get what KFC is trying to do. They are simply dramatizing the stressful situations that can arise during the holidays so they can convince us that a big ol’ bucket of genetically engineered chicken is the answer to all of life’s problems.

As devious as that is, that’s marketing, I suppose.

But there is another element at play here.

Surely this particular commercial’s creators did not intend this, but what they’ve managed to do is make a rather insightful remark on the spiritual state of the Western world.

What, for example, do you get when God and an authentic understanding of charity is completely removed from our public consciousnesses? What do you get when the notion of sin is whitewashed from society and, aided by a culture that equates happiness with a bigger bank account, we are encouraged to satisfy every impulse we have? In other words, what do you get when the afterlife becomes an afterthought?

Well, you get parents who think that giving their kids whatever they want will make them love them fighting over toys. You get neighbors bringing each other to court instead of amicably finding a solution to their quarrels. You get senior citizens expressing feelings of contempt for those who want nothing more than to bring them joy. And you fall prey to the belief that cheap, unhealthy, obesity-inducing food is what truly brings us together.

Catholics should recognize that this sort of society, the one satirized by KFC, is sadly not all that dissimilar from the increasingly atheistic world we live in today. As such, we should acknowledge that we have a lot of work to do in our evangelizing efforts.

Also, we should be cognizant of the fact that Christ brings us together far more greater than any food or material possession ever could, and that we need to not only place him at the center of our lives but that we need to convince others to do so as well. As Pope Pius XI proclaimed in his 1925 encyclical Quas Primas, “[only when] men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, [will] society at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.”


Categories:Culture Family

  • Radical Like Jesus

    I think the despicability of the ad is really just cynical satire. Mocking the ridiculous game where commercials pretend to not be commercials so they don’t piss off the fat American, and gluttonous Americans pretend they hate commercials and are unphased by them.

    I think it’s clever. I can admit when an enemy takes a good cheap shot.

  • Fr Bill

    KFC is the corp. that actually fired the original Col Sanders for his public statement about the mashed potato recipe they used.

  • Artor

    Hmmm… Maybe nobody reported on this before, because it’s a non-issue. Are Xians so insecure that they have to take offense at every little thing that might tangentially be construed as a “War on Xianity!!!eleven!!!?” That was a rhetorical question. A single night’s viewing of Fox News would indicate that yes indeed, they are.

  • Marketer by profession

    Reviewed the commercial for merit. Here’s what I believe happened: ad had been developed for the North American market but got “killed” last minute for the fear of public relations calamity. Since much effort and even more $$ had already been spent on this effort, one of the executives suggested salvaging it for another market, English-speaking market. UK was a natural choice of the all-American executive whose knowledge of non-North-American cultures is somewhat lacking . Therefore , you see NOTHING that is unique to the British market and which would really appeal to the Brits. Poor marketing effort in my humble opinion. Time to change your creative agency, KFC.

  • Antonio A. Badilla

    Well Stephen, you just read in these comments the very paganism you described!, and someone said it to you very pointedly, “no one cares!”

  • Just Saying

    I think to actually make an issue over this minimizes and makes all REAL and serious criticism of the Church trivial. This ad is a spoof. With so many real problems facing the Catholic church and its values, this is what you come up with as a problem? Loosen a bone, Wilma.



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