KFC Canada, which operates more than 600 of the fast-food chain’s restaurants, debuted a skill for Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant Alexa to show that “fingers are for lickin’ — not for clickin’," according to a press release. Amazon last month started selling its Alexa-powered Echo devices in Canada, TechCrunch reported.
The KFC Canada skill provides chicken jokes, pick-up lines, random chicken thoughts, references to chicken in pop culture and the Colonel's Quiz, a trivia game with a chicken twist: decode famous names, titles and quotes that have been "chickenfied."
KFC Canada plans to offer voice-operated delivery early next year. After downloading the skill from the Alexa skills store or the Alexa mobile app, customers can say "Ask KFC to talk chicken to me" to activate it.
KFC Canada's Alexa skill is the latest example of how the chain is taking a quirky, offbeat approach to marketing as it attempts to engage with younger consumers. KFC has tested voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) with other promotions. In July, the chain installed a Colonel Harland Sanders robot to take orders at some drive-through locations in honor of National Fried Chicken Day. The robot wasn’t completely independent of human operators, but helped to create the illusion for customers that they were ordering from Sanders, the iconic founder of the restaurant chain. These and other efforts helped earn the brand the 2017 Marketer of the Year title from Marketing Dive.
KFC Canada is getting on-board with Amazon as the e-commerce giant seeks new markets for its digital assistant Alexa. Before last month, Canadians could only buy the devices across the border from U.S. retailers or third parties that would ship them across the border, per TechCrunch. And then to activate the device, a Canadian customer needed to find a workaround like having a U.S. Amazon account. Google also started selling its Home devices in the country this year.
Before this year, Amazon Alexa was only available in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. The Canadian version includes include an English-language voice with a “Canadian accent” and local knowledge informed by Canadians, per the Toronto Star. Amazon opened the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa Voice Service for developers and hardware makers to create the skills for the Canadian market.