KFC Is Eater’s #Brand of the Year

For the last five years or so, America’s fast-food chains have been trying anything and everything to appeal to those mysterious millennials, who, research shows, aren’t as interested in the cheap cheeseburgers and fries that previous generations liked so much. The millennial fixation has inspired artisanal pizza toppingsselfie payment plansmascot wardrobe changes, endless customization options, and surprising cameos from kale and Sriracha. Many of these efforts haven’t made much of an impact on the way that younger diners understand these brands. But there is one long-established chain out there that’s managed to cut through the noise and stay relevant in the social media era: KFC.

The company didn’t switch up its menu or change its dining rooms to keep up with the times. Instead, it simply partnered with a crack creative team on a campaign that simultaneously tapped into nostalgia while also positioning the brand as part of the irreverent, eclectic culture of the internet. By reviving the Colonel, KFC got a serious second wind. And by maintaining such a creative and refreshingly weird aesthetic, KFC has earned Eater’s #Brand of the Year award for 2017.

Read the full article at Eater.com: https://www.eater.com/2017/12/5/16390270/kfc-ads-brand-of-the-year-eater-awards-2017

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Even With 6-Second Ads on the Rise, Brands like Heinz, KFC and Taco Bell are Creating Animated Films to Try and Stand Out

Just as animated TV shows for adults (think cult favorite Rick and Morty or Netflix’s Big Mouth) are having a moment, animated films for brands are hitting their own stride. Tech brands like Lyft and Hinge have used the medium in recent years and over the last few months a new wave of marketers—Heinz Beans, KFC and Taco Bell—have rolled out animated spots.

The timing may seem strange in an era when attention spans are low and six-second ads are on the rise, but brand marketers are hungry to connect with consumers and animation can be the outlet to make it happen. Overall, brands are finding that animation can cut through the clutter and really strike that emotional chord with viewers online.

“The long-form, animated spot is definitely back on stage,” Howard Belk, co-CEO and CCO for brand consultancy Siegel+Gale, said. “Advertisers are competing for engagement not only with other products, but with social media content. People are much more accustomed and comfortable now with watching vignettes on their phones—they have been conditioned by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms. Savvy advertisers are taking advantage of consumers’ willingness to spend more time consuming content on these platforms.”

Matt Murphy, 72andSunny executive creative director and partner, believes animation is on the rise because it “can be an escape,” he said, adding, “It has the ability to make a bigger, bolder creative leap in terms of storytelling for any brand that wants to embrace it as a tool.”

In April, 72andSunny created a nearly two-minute animated film for toothpaste brand Hello featuring an anthropomorphic dancing tooth cheerily promoting the natural ingredients used in Hello products. Since its release, the spot has scored over 1.6 million views on YouTube alone. “If we just put an actor in front of the camera to talk to you for 90 seconds about toothpaste, I don’t think it would have worked as well as having an animated tooth,” said Murphy.

See the films below & read more at AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/even-with-6-second-ads-on-the-rise-some-brands-are-creating-animated-films-to-try-and-stand-out/

 

KFC’s $10K ‘internet escape pod’ wards off Cyber Monday madness

KFC is selling an “internet escape pod” to help people find sanctuary from the madness of Cyber Monday shopping. They’re available on the brand’s e-commerce website, KFC Ltd., and cost $10,000 — a price discounted, in the spirit of the sales day, from $96,485.34, the brand said.

The dome-shape pod is constructed of steel and stainless steel mesh, with dimensions of 7′ x 7′ x 6′ 6″. It’s straddled by a representation of brand icon Colonel Sanders that’s made of 8-pound high-density architectural foam and enamel paint. Assembly and installation service is included in the price.

The product description suggests that the pod will genuinely be able to block outside signals trying to reach smartphones or other devices, although the brand can’t guarantee it’s a fool-proof solution. “In case you haven’t noticed, our specialty is fried chicken, not internet-blocking cages,” the product description reads.

kfc_internet escape

Dive Insight: 

While the $10,000 price tag is steep, this isn’t KFC’s first foray into e-commerce offerings that fall a little outside the brand’s typical budget range. In July, with the launch of KFC Ltd., it sold a single, 400-year-old meteorite carved to look like its Zinger sandwich for $20,000.

Just as that item helped drum up early interest for KFC Ltd., the internet escape pod does a clever job of poking fun at the often overwhelming nature of Cyber Monday, which has quickly won over the attention and spending of deal-hunters who want to avoid the brick-and-mortar chaos of its sister sales day, Black Friday. KFC, while ribbing Cyber Monday madness by taking people back to the days without the internet, is also capitalizing on it by offering a ‘discount’ and selling the pod exclusively online.

Beyond these pointedly gimmicky items, KFC Ltd. also offers more affordable branded merchandise like T-shirts and sweatshirts. It’s not the only marketer in the quick-serve or food category that’s eyed this strategy to generate extra revenue from dedicated fans who want to rep their favorite brand.

Taco Bell, which, like KFC, is owned by Yum Brands, recently launched a clothing line in partnership with the fast-fashion retailer Forever 21. Around this time last year, Frito-Lay’s Cheetos also introduced a holiday catalogthat included hot pants, lounge chairs and even a $20,000 piece of jewelry.

With its latest play, KFC continues a run of quirky marketing efforts this year that’s included turning Col. Sanders into the lead in a romance novella for Mother’s Day and making the mascot a playable character in the “WWE 2K18” video game.

from Marketing Dive: https://www.marketingdive.com/news/kfcs-10k-internet-escape-pod-wards-off-cyber-monday-madness/511188/

KFC Painted a Portrait for the Man Who Spotted Its 11 Herbs and Spices Stunt on Twitter

Being an eagle-eyed Twitter user can occasionally have its perks, though admittedly they can be very, very odd perks.

Twitter user Mike Edgette, a social media manager at TallGrass Public Relations in Sioux Falls, S.D., recently stumbled across one of the year’s best branded easter eggs when he noticed KFC’s account followed only six men named Herb and five Spice Girls—aka 11 Herbs and Spices, a savvy reference to the brand’s storied secret recipe.

His unassuming tweet about the discovery, made about a month after the stunt was quietly placed by agency Wieden + Kennedy, has since exploded to 322,000 retweets and 715,000 likes.

But fleeting Twitter fame wasn’t the only reward in store for Edgette. This week, he announced (on Twitter, of course) that he’d received a framed, custom painting depicting him piggyback riding Colonel Sanders in a majestic natural landscape:

kfc_twitter_screenchow

from AdWeek: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/kfc-painted-a-portrait-for-the-man-who-spotted-its-11-herbs-and-spices-stunt-on-twitter/

Was KFC’s Halloween Harland On Your Bucket List?

Sorry if the Colonel Sanders Halloween costume was on your bucket list; it’s now sold out. Although the “Halloween costume” has sold out, KFC still has a treat (or trick) in store.

The Yum!-owned brand has made such a massive marketing investment over the last few years in paying tribute to the brand’s founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, that it was a natural to make a Colonel Sanders Halloween costume (for only $5 online) this year.

Orders that were placed by today were promised to be delivered in time for trick-or-treating on Oct. 31.

KFC Colonel Sanders Costume

 

While the costume is now sold out, on Friday KFC U.S. will be giving away custom Halloween buckets in the form of a reproduction of the brand’s iconic fried-chicken container, at KFC restaurants.

Of course, KFC has been presenting and representing incarnations of Colonel Sanders for a while now, especially in the form of a revolving cast of actors and comedians who dress up in a white suit and black string tie for the role.

KFC Colonel Sanders Halloween Costume

 

For Halloween, KFC is attempting to leverage the Colonel’s newly created notoriety with the costume, which costs the same as the brand’s $5 Fill Ups on the menu, George Felix, KFC’s US director of advertising, noted in a press release.

The buckets, meanwhile, are made to hold much more than warm chicken for a half-hour: They’re constructed of plastic with a sturdy handle and come in five designs featuring the Colonel as well as different Halloween classics including a mummy, werewolf and vampire.

from BrandChannel: http://www.brandchannel.com/2017/10/23/kfc-halloween-colonel-sanders/