- KFC for the third holiday season in a row is selling a firelog inspired by its 11 herbs and spices recipe, but this year is tying the gag gift into a larger experiential promotion, according to a news release.
- Created with Enviro-Log, the scented product is available to purchase exclusively at Walmart for $15.88 and comes packaged with a QR code that, when scanned, directs consumers to a webpage where they can enter for a chance to win a three-day, two-night vacation at a secluded Kentucky retreat. The 7,000-square-foot, three-story luxury abode — dubbed the Kentucky Fried Chicken Firelog Cabin — features four bedrooms, a theater room, built-in bar, pool and hot tub themed around the fried-chicken chain.
- Up to eight guests making their stay will spend an evening with KFC's top chef, Chris Scott, who will translate the brand's menu offerings into a gourmet, five-course meal. KFC is also letting fans enter the contest by downloading its U.S. ordering app, speaking to how the fast food category is attempting to drive more engagement and loyalty through mobile channels.
KFC is bringing back its 11 Herbs & Spices Firelog with an experiential twist for the 2021 holiday season. Linking the gag gift, which carries a distinctive fried-chicken aroma and can burn for up to three hours, to a vacation getaway could attract the interest of consumers eager for a return to travel but still cautious about COVID-19 safety.
The Kentucky Fried Chicken Firelog Cabin is surrounded by 200 acres of a protected nature reserve in the brand's namesake state, adding an aspect of seclusion. To get to the location, guests will follow a path of KFC bucket lamps to an entrance adorned with rocking chairs draped in throw blankets based on mascot Colonel Sanders. Inside, they will be greeted by additional themed decor like KFC bucket lights and a Colonel Bearskin rug, along with a firepit stocked with the scented logs.
One superfan and up to seven guests will also receive an eclectic meal curated by KFC's head chef, which includes Finger Lickin' Good Charcuterie, the OG Original Recipe Chicken Roulade and Sweet, Southern & Sticky Toffee Pudding. Scott is available Jan. 29, Feb. 26 and March 19, per the contest details page, suggesting there's some flexibility as to when people can make their stay next year. A winner will be selected on or about Jan. 3, while KFC will cover round-trip economy air transportation from a major airport nearest to their primary residence.
KFC joins other marketers in resurrecting the concept of a branded vacation, an experiential tactic that previously encountered challenges due to the pandemic. Earlier this year, the chain opened a themed hotel in London called the House of Harland to provide a few U.K.-based consumers with a brand-themed staycation. Airbnb and Vacasa recently introduced similar efforts with holiday retreats based on "Home Alone" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!," respectively. Corona, the beer marketed by AB InBev outside the U.S., plans to open a Caribbean island escape in the spring of 2022 that emphasizes a sustainability message.
A more ambitious seasonal campaign from KFC comes as the Yum Brands-owned chain sees some changeover in its marketing strategy. Late last month, the brand appointed Nick Chavez, a Nintendo veteran, as U.S. CMO. It is also reportedly seeking a new creative agency after years of standout work with Wieden + Kennedy, whose contract expires in January. The switch-up is being driven by a desire to close the gap in the chicken sandwich wars and appeal more to younger consumers like Gen Z, per Insider.
On the latter front, the log cabin vacation factors in a mobile app component that could resonate with young diners who are helping drive the boom in takeout and delivery.