- KFC is celebrating Valentine's Day by giving fans the chance to win a date-night package that includes a limited-edition faux bearskin rug that resembles the brand's mascot and founder Colonel Sanders, according to a press release.
- The brand is asking fans to square off in an online creativity contest on Reddit for a chance to win. The date-night package also includes two fried chicken pajama onesies, a gift card and a year-long subscription to an online streaming service.
- There are three ways to enter the contest. Graphic designers can enter a "photoshop battle" to transform an image of the Colonel rug into a "humorous, outlandish or romantic digital masterpiece." Writers are encouraged to enter a storytelling challenge to create a romantic vignette around a KFC-themed scene. A "drawing duel" will give artists the chance to submit an original piece of art showing their ideal romantic evening, inspired by the Colonel Sanders rug.
KFC is celebrating Valentine's Day by incorporating its iconic Colonel in what the brand is calling its "most romantic stunt ever." By encouraging fans to create their own Colonel- and fried chicken-inspired romantic artwork, KFC is hoping to deepen its connection with consumers who appreciate opportunities to express their creativity while also boosting engagement on Reddit, known for its anything-goes vibe and vast millennial audience. By hosting the contest on a popular social media platform, KFC's campaign could see extended reach from fans sharing the user-generated content (UGC) across their social channels.
The fast-food brand has celebrated Valentine's Day in years past with quirky merchandise, but this year's campaign is incorporating UGC and providing an opportunity for consumer interaction. Last year, KFC gave away scratch-and-sniff fried chicken-scented Valentine's cards to promote its two-person Chicken Share meal. KFC also partnered with mobile app Tenor on GIFs featuring the Colonel, buckets of chicken and love-themed messages for people to share on social media.
Oddball merchandise that incorporates fried chicken or the Colonel in a unique way is now a go-to marketing tactic for KFC, which often releases the items around holidays and is sometimes connected to contests to give away items like the Valentine's bearskin rug. Other times, the limited-edition items are sold, and they almost always fly off the digital shelf. Over the holidays, KFC partnered with Enviro-Log to sell a limited-edition firelog that smelled like fried chicken. Already in 2019, KFC held a contest giving away gravy-scented candles and unveiled a line of Colonel Sanders Pop! vinyl figures with collectibles brand Funko, with one model sold on Amazon and one on the Funko site.
Reddit boasts more than 330 million monthly active users and 18 billion page views, along with high engagement levels, with users spending about 16 minutes per day on the site. These numbers appear to be somewhat attractive to brands, and Reddit has been looking to expand its brand partnerships and attract more advertising revenue. Last month, the platform announced that it's now offering cost-per-click ad inventory. However, advertisers and brands could be wary about partnering with the site because its occasionally offensive content has sparked brand safety concerns.