KFC has no plans of slowing down the unusual promotion strategy and this time, it wants consumers to fund the efforts.
Five Indiegogo campaigns launched on Tuesday for the new KFC Innovations Lab, a supposed source of the restaurant’s odd, yet popular inventions. Consumers will be able to contribute to a list of KFC-themed ideas for a chance to see them made in real life.
KFC is asking for a total of $2,490,783 across all five campaigns, all of which will go into the actual production. None of the funds “will go into the Colonel’s pocket or directly to KFC,” says the brand.
Whether the quick service restaurant raises all target fund amounts remains to be seen, but a crowd-funding campaign may prove conversation worthy at the least.
“As with any of our marketing programs, our goal is to reach new audiences and build brand love, all while entertaining and engaging viewers in our uniquely KFC way,” Steve Kelly, KFC US director of media and digital marketing told AList. “Selling fried chicken is our business, but you have to be thinking about us first.”
Indiegogo campaigns include a Kentucky Fried Hot Tub, Colonel on Ice (a Colonel Sanders-themed ice show), a tie that tracks its wearer up to 100 feet, a cane that doubles as a remote control and a full-sized picnic bench set made of cardboard.
Each campaign will also receive its own promotional YouTube video.
“Are your muscles tired? Do you need to relax? Do you have a deep-seated love for corporate branding? Do you currently have any money in your bank account?” reads one campaign page. “If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should help support our campaign to bring the Kentucky Fried Hot Tub to life. ”
The hot tub looks like a giant KFC bucket, holds up to five people and is heated by a wood-fired thermosyphon. Three people who donate at least $13,311 will receive a hot tub for themselves.
Should KFC raise $2.2 million, audiences may soon learn the origin story of Colonel Harland Sanders by way of ice skaters. Donate $50,000 and you can be in the show, or $150 gets you a VIP ticket.
“It’s shocking how expensive and complicated a custom ice show can be,” said Kelly. “We thought it might be prudent to see if our fans are interested before investing in all that choreography.”
“Little Colonel Locator” is a black bow tie in the style of Colonel Sanders that will track its wearer up to 100 feet from a mobile device. Unlike some of the more expensive campaigns, donators can take one home for $132.
The KFC Smartcane Remote is exactly what it sounds like and will set hardcore collectors back $1,703. “Picnic with the Colonel” includes a cardboard cutout of Colonel Sanders and a full-sized picnic bench, also made of cardboard. A limited number of collectors can purchase one outright for $1,020.
All campaigns offer smaller reward tiers in $20, $50 and $60 that get you a puffy sticker set, branded shirt or branded sweat pants, respectively. KFC launched its KFC Limited merchandise store in 2017 but has since closed it so the campaign will give fans another chance to buy.
It seems like KFC comes out with another wacky idea every week. Will these types of marketing activations become saturated someday?
“We hope not because we sure have a lot of fun bringing them to life!,” said Kelly.