KFC have done incredibly well promoting their new Double Down.
With no notable advertising, KFC has managed to create a media storm with nothing more than a press release. Proving the adage any publicity is good publicity, no amount of warnings from nutritionists in news stories could deter the stampede of those craving the fast food joint's latest concoction.
A story I wrote in March about the impending release on the burger got more than 11,000 Facebook shares, surpassing even the most shared story written on the day of the February 22 Christchurch earthquake.
On social networking site Twitter yesterday, Double Down was a trending topic in New Zealand, as Kiwis tweeted either their delight or disgust at the burger's imminent release.
Free burgers given to some media yesterday further fuelled the hype surrounding the Double Down, with reporters giving the burger glowing endorsements.
After heading down to the Quay St KFC this morning, I can only say other reporters were given a completely different product to what we were given.
My colleague, Herald online social media editor Troy Rawhiti-Forbes, described it as "pure regret".
"This is not a meal for messy eaters. Actually, to be honest, I'm not sure if this is a meal for the human race," he said as he tackled the Double Down.
"I've eaten some strange things in my time - I've been around the US, there are some things that will make your toes curl. I've got to admit, if I eat another one of these anytime soon, it will be way too soon."
I had thought this might become my go-to burger after a night on the town.
Troy managed to finish his meal, but my first bite told me this wasn't for me.
The chicken is what you would expect. The Colonel's eleven herbs and spices have proved a favourite for generations. It's what's between the chicken that disappointed.
I've always thought bacon can go with anything, but I found an exception. The cheese was simply gross. But the main reason I found the burger unpalatable is the "Colonel's own special sauce". It just wasn't right.
But not everyone was as disappointed as we were.
Nicholas Keesing waited outside KFC for 20 minutes for it to open so he could get his fix.
He said he had been following the release of the burger since the announcement, eager to try the bun-less, low-carb burger.
"I must admit, I've taken two breasts apart and made my own just to try it. It's good if it is a similar taste to what I made."
Eating it with his shirt off to show off the physique he had earned through eating properly, Nick described it as "awesome".
"Man, it's really good. I'm going to have to go for a run," he said. "Seriously, it's really good - I'm not just saying this."
KFC chief executive Brent Kitto said yesterday the burger is not for everyone. He can say that again.
People have different tastes - some people may find the Double Down to their liking. Fast food junkies will want to try it regardless of what Troy, I or any nutritionist says.
The Double Down is finally here - but I won't be back for seconds.By Paul Harper @Snappy_nz Email Paul