Friday, March 27, 2009

Variety Friday: KFC Coffee

If you live in Japan long enough, you lose perspective on how those who have not lived here view the culture. That is, you start to find things funny which really are not because your perspective is warped from years of exposure. You become like one of those Monty Python geeks (and I'm actually one of those, too) who finds a reference to someone saying "nudge, nudge, wink, wink" funny. People who have never watched the show don't get it, and they think you're a huge dork.

I don't know if the topic of this post is the result of me finding something funny because I'm a huge dork or if it's actually funny. Bear in mind that I'm aware of the potential lameness of what I'm about to talk about, but that some of us living the inside joke in Japan found this entertaining. When I say, "some of us", I mean my husband and I. We don't need people to tell us we're weenies. We know it already.

At present, KFC in Japan is selling coffee with a new advertising campaign called "Tasty Café". The campaign itself isn't funny as I could see a coffee shop named so, though honestly, the idea that KFC has its own "café" and sells quality coffee is probably hilarious to most people. Fried chicken isn't generally coupled with coffee house culture.

The part which struck my husband and I as weirdly amusing is the that the plain coffee is called (in English): "tasty coffee" (テイスティコーヒー). The latte and cappuccino, however, are just plain out "latte" and "cappuccino". I don't know about you, but if I walked into a shop in America and the menu said "tasty coffee", I'd wonder what the other alternatives were. "Moderately palatable coffee"? "Execrable coffee"? In the West, most plain brewed coffee is just called "coffee" or "brewed coffee". Name it "yummy coffee", "great coffee", etc. and seems like they're trying too hard to convince you of something.

The Japanese don't perceive this as weird. They believe it just makes it sound more appealing. For all I know, other foreign folks see it thus as well, and they'd simply perceive me as the weird thing. At any rate, I have never purchased KFC's coffee because 220 yen ($2.25) for a small cup of plain coffee that almost certainly sat around in the pot on a hot plate for awhile is ridiculous to me. Also, I'm not really sold on the notion that it's actually "tasty," despite this campaign.


Sherry said...

Things like that make me chuckle too.

I am still laughing from seeing some sort of diet aid a few days ago called "Jesus Body" but I couldn't explain why I think that is so funny to save my own life.

Orchid64 said...

I think "Jesus Body" sounds pretty funny as well. It'd be even funnier on a T-shirt. ;-)

Kelly said...

In Australia most Mcdonalds have a special "McCafe" inside that sells premium coffees, frapacino's, smoothies, and cakes. So to me the fact that KFC is now selling coffee just seems like they're stepping up to the plate.

I agree about tasty coffee though. It's probably less than tasty too!

Helen said...

I agree that it is funny too!

But I used to watch the Maxwell House coffee ads that said, "Good to the last drop," and wonder how bad the last drop was.

Say no more!