Drummer VIP Member and drummer/author/teacher/inventor, Andy Ziker, isn’t one to normally get involved in politics, but when his wife told him about a new Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial that she saw recently, he knew that he had to react strongly.
“I realize that people are going wonder if I lack a sense of humor. However, this KFC ad campaign goes too far.”
In the 30-second spot (see below), the fast food restaurant chain associates “buying your own kid a drum set” to picking up a call from a telemarketer. Each of these situations is referred to as a “not-so-smart” decision.
To Ziker, the author of Drumset for Preschoolers (and may other instructional books), this is low blow (and he isn’t talking about a bass drum hit).
“I have a spent a lot of energy attempting to dispel the cultural bias that exists with the drum set. The idea that the instrument is somehow nothing more than a noisemaker, bothers me to no end. The drum set is an American invention, a valued part of our music worldwide, and a wonderful starter instrument for any young person. In fact, I would offer that the drums are equivalent in this way to piano and violin. The value in terms of brain development is a proven fact. Noise level is a non-issue these days with the use of mute pads and electronic drums. I feel that there should be a drum kit in every garage or living room.”
Ziker would like Chairman and CEO of KFC, Roger Eaton, to immediately pull the ad and to apologize to drummers and percussion educators worldwide. If not, Ziker is asking drummers to boycott KFC indefinitely and to help spread the word.
“To associate drumming to the catch-phrase ‘not-so-smart’ is ironic to me in two ways. First of all, KFC is being “not-so-smart” in perpetuating negativity against a cherished musical instrument. Secondly, drummers and percussion educators are some of the smartest, creative people I’ve met.”
KFC's response: "Sorry to offend, guys - it's just a little humor. We love drummers; after all, we have a long history w/ drumsticks. #rimshot"
Yum! Brands, Inc., a Fortune 500 corporation, operates or licenses Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, and WingStreet restaurants worldwide.