KFC's new TV spot is
generating buzz - literally.
The latest ad for the fried-chicken chain
is imbedded with a special, high-frequency
sound that not everyone can hear.
The inventors of the buzzing sound claim it
is too high-pitched for more mature ears since
many adults start to lose their ability to
hear higher frequencies around age 20.
The buzzing sound, dubbed the "mosquitotone,"
can be so annoying that stores in the U.K.
have used it to ward off loitering teens. Of
course, teens figured out their own uses for
it as a cellphone ringtone that teachers can't
hear in class.
For its part, KFC hopes the buzzing sound
will become the "21st century dinner bell" -
and get families to buy its new "Boneless
Only people who can tell where the sound
starts during the ad can log onto KFC's Web
site for a shot at a $10 coupon.
"The premise behind it is to get people to
hear it and obviously take action," said KFC
spokeswoman Laurie Schalow. "We are trying to
break through the clutter and get people to
pay attention to our TV spots."
With the all the protests over junk-food
ads and childhood obesity, KFC swears it isn't
aiming the ads at kids.
"It's really not meant to target
20-year-olds and under," Schalow said. "We
actually found there were quite a few people
in their 30s who can hear it just fine."
The ad is airing on the major broadcast
channels with the exception of Fox, which was
concerned that people would be startled by the
sound seemingly coming out of nowhere. There's
no disclaimer on the ad since that would,
well, ruin the surprise.