Over the last couple of days, the internet and mainstream media have blown up over the new Kentucky Fried Chicken gaming console that dropped earlier this week. People are baffled by it and in many cases are playing it off as an absurd joke. The reality is, that the new gaming console is part of an ongoing campaign that reaches back a full two years. If you head over to YouTube and search for KFC Gaming you will see the first video was published two years back and since then KFC Gaming has produced and released a total of 47 videos over this period of time. In fact, the gaming console was actually introduced on the KFC Gaming channel 6 months ago with a release date of 11/12/2020 which they apparently missed.
This is all part of an ongoing ccampaign strategically designed to attract a younger audience through a series of goofball promotions. If you go back and look at any of the videos over the last two years you will see a very specific theme. There is an entire section featuring a guy wearing a KFC bucket on his head and reviewing video games. KFC has managed to gain 21,000 subscribers to the channel, and the videos have racked up a fair amount of views considering the limited amount of promotion that has been put behind this.
The gaming console however is the big winner here. The video has 294,000 views, and it’s been picked up by everything from the Today show, to very specific gamer blogs and vlogs. KFC and their agency of record have managed to create the kind of viral buzz marketers dream of through some clever positioning, savvy media buys, and by partnering with a manufacturer that has created what appears to be an actual functional gaming console for them. (I’m pretty sure it’s all smoke and mirrors but the landing page is pretty impressive)
Yes, this thing actually plays games. KFC teamed up with computer cooling brand Cooler Master to manufacture the console with some serious gaming specs. The console is capable of running “the latest titles in stunning 4k, 240fps”. With Asus-powered graphics and an Intel Nuc 9 chip, it seems the KFConsole is essentially a glorified gaming PC. Which heats chicken.
In addition to gaming, it features the “worlds-first” built-in chicken chamber “that uses the system’s natural heat and airflow system you can now focus on your gameplay and enjoy hot, crispy chicken between rounds.” Sounds like a game-changer to us.
This is just one more extension of some of the other campaigns that KFC has run in the last few years. Along with the landing page, there is an impressive social media campaign they have rolled out on Twitter Instagram, and Facebook all of which have been designed to promote the brand amongst a very specific target audience. You have to admit, as goofy as this is, it worked. KFC got the word out and generated a lot of chatter which is what good advertising and marketing are supposed to do. KFC knows the ridiculous nature of all of this and is willing to play it up if there is a chance that they might expand their base and get some fried chicken converts in the process.
I would have loved to have been at the pitch meeting for KFC Gaming 2 years back. Can you even imagine how that went down, how they sold this concept to executive management?
It’s a well thought public stunt, sure, KFC might not be able to compete with decades of Sony’s & Microsoft or Nintendo’s experience, but social media and “influencers” are doing what was expected, building consumer hype. Yum! stock (brand owner of KFC) gained 0.70% since the news went viral.
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