‘Plofkip’ is a word introduced to the Dutch language to describe the artificially plumped up chickens that end their short, horrible lives as our lunch or dinner. It was adopted by Dutch animal welfare organisation Wakker Dier in its campaigns to ban this kind of animal abuse in the food industry. Because Kentucky Fried Chicken continues to place tortured chickens on their menu, Wakker Dier renames the chain restaurant Kentucky Fried Plofkip in its latest parody ad.
‘At first I thought I might not be the ideal director for this project because I’m not a vegetarian,’ Kevin Boitelle reflects. ‘But that wasn’t an issue. Wakker Dier isn’t out to castigate the KFC customers either. They’re trying to create awareness.’ The most interesting part of this job, to Kevin, was the copyright and legal angle. Can you show and say all of these things about another company? As it turns out, you can. ‘You’re allowed to call out these companies as long as you don’t claim anything that isn’t true.’
Wakker Dier’s first plofkip campaign, which took aim at the big supermarkets, was a big success. They stopped selling it. ‘Most people indicate that they don’t want to eat any plofkip at all,’ says Wakker Dier spokeswoman Anne Hilhorst. ‘But they don’t think about it much and trust the restaurants. We try to wake them up so they will hopefully stop frequenting KFC. As a chain restarant, KFC can really make a difference if it chooses to serve better chicken.’
To get the look just right, Kevin studied a few KFC commercials. One of the things he learned is that it’s not as easy as it appears to make a skinned chicken look tasty. ‘Funnily enough, selling an idea isn’t all that different from selling a product,’ he adds. ‘But this feels more honest because you’re selling an idea that any sensible person can get behind.’
KFC sells plofkip and plofkip is animal suffering and that has to stop. Anne Hilhorst: ‘The message stays strong by keeping it simple. People get it.’