One afternoon in Cape Town, South Africa, the craving for fried chicken hit an Eastern Cape police officer so hard and he was feeling so peckish, he decided to land his South African Police Services helicopter at a Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) to buy his lunch.

The unidentified pilot was captured on camera landing the helicopter between a busy parking lot of cars and pedestrians at the Komani Mall in Queenstown. He then stepped out of the helicopter and nonchalantly walked in to order lunch.

Fortunately, no injury or harm was caused by this unscheduled landing, even though the officer had not gone through proper channels to request to land and have the area cordoned off. No one knows exactly from which direction he came from or what his destination was thereafter.  

The playful print ads for Chicken Licken were placed directly next to news articles about the police helicopter incident.
The playful print ads for Chicken Licken were placed directly next to news articles about the police helicopter incident.

After purchasing his lunch, the officer walked back to the helicopter, switched on the helicopter blades again, and swiftly flew off. Nobody knows who he was or what he ordered.

Pictures of the landing went viral on social media. A Facebook comment indicated that this was not an official police practice. He was not there to investigate any crime, just simply to queue in line for a quick takeaway. A national spokesperson from South African Police Services confirmed that they were investigating the landing because it is not their normal practice to land without being on official police business.

Joe Public United, the advertising agency for Chicken Licken, a KFC competitor, viewed this entertaining incident as an opportunity. They contacted The Inc, which is the national sales arm of Independent Media, and a collaboration began with the editors of multiple publications, including The Star in Johannesburg and The Daily News in KwaZulu.

Print advertisements for Chicken Licken, which has an aviation theme for its Fly-Thru restaurants, were run in multiple newspapers right next to articles reporting on the KFC incident. This turned out to be a brilliant tactical campaign with playful, attention-grabbing copy.