KFC’s Pothole Repair Program

Imagine cruising down a street and instead of dodging pesky potholes, you spot the KFC logo imprinted on a freshly-filled pothole. In 2009, the fast-food giant embarked on an ambitious, unconventional, and public-spirited marketing campaign — “KFC Refreshes the Nation’s Roads.” Amidst the crumbling infrastructure of many cities across the country, KFC saw an opportunity. The company proposed that KFC would pay for pothole repair, but the filled potholes would bear the KFC logo and a tagline “Refreshed by KFC.” Their first stop was their hometown, Louisville, Kentucky, where the company fixed more than 350 potholes. The potholes were marked with non-permanent chalky white logos, which were designed to wash away with the next rain. Some applauded KFC’s program as an innovative way to deal with the lack of funding for infrastructure maintenance, while others saw it as a form of corporate branding. After the successful run in Louisville, KFC extended the program to 4 more cities in different states, but most cities turned them down. A few years later, Domino’s Pizza did the same thing, with varying degrees of success.