Incongruities in Advertising

My pet peeve of the day:

What does Alabama, or Lynryd Skynyrd for that matter, have to do with fried chicken? In particular, what does “Sweet Home Alabama” have to do with Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Perhaps my geography is a little bit rusty, but Kentucky is nestled between Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia (ok, some other states too), but is NOWHERE near Alabama. Colonel Harlan Sanders was a hillbilly who DRESSED like a southern cracker, and more closely resembled Burl Ives than anyone else. Seems to me that most of the chicken in the United States is not produced in Alabama, either. Most likely the chicken is from Arkansas — which to my recollection doesn’t border Alabama OR Kentucky (but that’s another issue).

So why does the KFC campaign for Chicken Capital USA (which I can only assume is bluegrass country and not swamp rock country, being somewhere south of Cincinnati and north of Nashville) have as its theme song Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”? Is it because nobody gets all goofy-eyed and thinks of fried chicken when they hear musicians from Kentucky — like Bill Monroe, Merle Travis, John Prine, the Everly Brothers, Dwight Yoakum? Hell, Johnny Depp would be a better fit. The Kentucky Headhunters’ “Walk Softly On This Heart of Mine” would be far more appropriate.

Is it because in this country the intellectual capability of the average American is, as they say, going South?

Or is it because those folks who now own KFC (the same people that own Pepsi and Taco Bell, I think) couldn’t think of a better representation of fly-over country than Skynyrd?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Lynryd Skynyrd. And I think all of ’em that are still alive deserve all the royalties they can get. But I’ve got relatives in Kentucky, I’ve got relatives from Kentucky that work for KFC and knew the Colonel while he was alive, and I’ve even EATEN KFC in Kentucky — where, I might add, it is better than anywhere else in the country. “Sweet Home Alabama” as the theme song for something that is in NO WAY associated with, or from, Alabama is a little insulting to me. It’s just wrong.

And by the way, considering the number of Puerto Ricans, Gautemalans, Costa Ricans, Mexicans and Latinos and Hispanics of almost every variety living in New York City, how is it that they know so much less there about salsa than folks in San Antonio?

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