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Colonel Sanders as a Signifier of Group Identity in KFC’s Ad Campaign (Essay Sample)


Choose any popular culture in america and demonstrate how it shows group identity. The essay DEALT WITH HOW Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) 2015-16 AD CAMPAIGN PROMOTED GROUP IDENTITY.


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Colonel Sanders as a Signifier of Group Identity in KFC’s Ad Campaign
Colonel Harland Sanders is one of the pioneers of the fast food industry in America who started Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in 1930. As the name suggests, the company has roots in the American South—a region associated with diversity and hospitality. Over time, food has been used in the South as a tool of demonstrating shared attitudes and asserting the self. Southern foods were one of the original channels for the expression of identity and culture. Since food offers a means for individuals to participate in activities with struggle and desire, it promotes and continues to promote the affirmation of group identity not only in the South but also around the world. This essay examines KFC’s 2015-16 advertisement campaign for its signature fried chicken and how they have promoted group identity by building fraternities and unifying groups in America.
Fast food brands such as KFC empathize with the discourse of the American Dream by pushing nondiscriminatory access to the products they sell. Therefore, consumption of such brands becomes a great equalizer since the wealthy and the poor alike can partake. Furthermore, consumption enhances identity formation. Consumption is vital because it influences self-identity, which is crucial for the formation and maintenance of an individual sense of self (Engelhardt 4). When people consume particular products of fast food brands such as KFC, they nurture a sense of self in a profound way that cannot be achieved in any other practice.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) emphasizes equity by promoting the American Dream narrative through its branding and intentional consistency. For instance, the food is prepared in the same way for wealthy and poor individuals, and thus, eliminating a more expensive experience. According to Guptill, Copelton and Lucal, consumption alone is not adequate, but people’s consumption choices strongly determine and communicate a sense of self in a commercial environment (86). In a nutshell, consumption of fast foods offers an immediate satisfaction and replaces affordability and convenience irrespective of a person’s class or race.
The image below represents some of the logos of KFC.
Fast food companies communicate through brand recognition and advertisement, which help to send a message of hope. Food functions as a main contributor of humanity by sustaining life and aiding people make sense of the world. In addition, food serves as a broad and material means of forming personal identity. Therefore, one key function of fast foods is to act as a means to connect with other people and communicate self (Greene 8). Food advertisement campaigns should not be viewed only as a way of demonstrating nutritional and statistical information. Such ads are also a protocol of situations, usages and behaviors, a collection of images, and a system of communication (Barthes 24). Therefore, various factors including socioeconomic status, culture, and religion affect how identity and food are intertwined.

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