KFC Logo Stunt Now in Google Earth

KFC logo in Google EarthSince Google Earth has come out, many companies have considered painting their logos on roofs or doing some kind of publicity stunt where you could see their logo from above. However, the challenge is that you don’t know when the photo might make it into Google’s imagery database. If you are just trying to do a stunt (put something on the ground), you have to either have a plane fly over, or arrange for it to be there when a satellite is flying over.
A year ago, KFC laid out the “world’s largest KFC logo” in the Nevada desert and claimed it was the “first logo visible from space” (see GEB story). Well, it was simply not true they were the first because many companies have logos which have been visible from above for many years and are visible in Google Earth’s satellite imagery. But, what is interesting is that KFC actually set up the photo at a time when both GeoEye and DigitalGlobe (the two primary commercial satellite imagery companies) were flying over the location. So, they were able to show first the Geoeye imagery to “prove” their point. During Google’s recent imagery update, as pointed out by GoogleSightseeing, the KFC logo is now visible in Google Earth in the base imagery. I did a check, and sure enough the image was taken by DigitalGlobe on November 14, 2006 (just 3 days before the story last year).
If you watch this YouTube video, you can see the marketing people setting up the KFC logo in the desert. Also, at the very end, you can see a helicopter taking off that I presume was going to do a low aerial fly-by. The only problem is the logo was essentially a banner, and the helicopter blows away a big portion of the logo! It took nearly a year, but the KFC logo is in Google Earth. My hat is off to the marketing team for actually pulling it off.
The folks at Maxim Magazine did something similar putting a giant banner showing a cover of their magazine with Eva Longoria in a bikini. They just took aerial photos, but published their photo as an image overlay to make it visible in Google Earth. Read the story here, and see the link which lets you see it in Google Earth. I think the Maxim story got a lot more attention on the Internet than the KFC logo. I wonder why?
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About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


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  2. Hey, that’s great, Frank. But where’s the link to the Eva Longoria in a bikini picture? 😉

  3. Tim Miltz says:

    Something tells me this Colonel Sanders is a Nation Security breach !
    Someone better call Homeland and have them searching for Colonel Sanders in the middle of the desert !

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