KFC Gladiator Box Meal: really?

KFC Gladiator box meal – Image copyright Massimo Gaetani

I used to be a random and infrequent user of fast food restaurants but I did not step into one after I completed reading Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation back in 2002.  However as a passionate marketing professional I am always fascinated by their aggressive marketing strategies and how they are trying to convince us how convenient and excellent quality their food is…

KFC has recently launched the Gladiator Box Meal that claims to be feeding super hungry people and conquer your hunger; having not paid too much attention to the details at their TV AD campaign I got inspired to write this post when I saw the advert represented in the picture here on the right at a bus stop neaby my house.  I will refer to Mr. or Ms. marketer to address the person or department at KFC that have designed and delivered this product (the meal box) and its associated adverts as there are a few obvious flaws in the whole process.

As soon as I did a bit of research on Internet I found a number of reviews, including Dan Bishop’s one review per day blog, that argue how two extra pieces of chicken can actually make such a large meal compared to other existing deals from the same restaurant.

But let’s go and analyse the full meaning of this adverts.  Gladiators were the entertainment show biz of Roman time.  Here is what Wikipedia says about them:

“A gladiator (Latin: gladiator, “swordsman”, from gladius, “sword”) was an armed combatant who entertained audiences in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire in violent confrontations with other gladiators, wild animals, and condemned criminals. Some gladiators were volunteers who risked their legal and social standing and their lives by appearing in the arena. Most were despised as slaves, schooled under harsh conditions, socially marginalized, and segregated even in death.”

So if Gladiators could be compared to the professional sportsmen and women of today I am wondering how many professional athletes actually feed on fast food meals.  Fair enough Mr. or Ms. marketer it’s good to use role models to  inspire and encourage unfit and perhaps overweight teenagers to feed on this great meal box.  However what is not right is to have completely overlooked that Gladiators were in fact vegetarian.  Again a paragraph from the same Wikipedia page:

“Despite the harsh discipline, gladiators represented a substantial investment for their lanista and were otherwise well cared for. Their high-energy, vegetarian diet combined barley, boiled beans, oatmeal, ash (believed to help fortify the body) and dried fruit. Compared to modern athletes, they were probably overweight, but this may have “protected their vital organs from the cutting blows of their opponents”. The same research suggests they may have fought barefoot.[135][136]

Last but definitely not least: Gladiators were fighters, used for entertainment; none of them was used for wars, invasion of any territory or any conquer.  So, Mr. or Ms. marketer, where is the conquer your hunger coming from? Definitely not from Gladiators as they never really conquered anything.

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