- Kentucky Fried Chicken has launched a racy new campaign targeting mothers in advance of Mother's Day, which, according to a press release from the chain, is one of its best-selling days of the year. The effort promotes special Mother's Day dessert biscuits from Cinnabon through a naughty video message, which stars a Colonel Sanders-inspired Chippendales dancer ripping off his shirt. Real dancers from Chippendales are featured in the video.
- The irreverent video, which has the tongue-in-cheek title "Chickendales," is running on YouTube and other KFC social channels. There is also a user generated element, in which people can make and send personalized versions of the video to their mom at a microsite. Users must share their mother's name and the state she lives in, to participate. After sharing the data, a customer can choose to download the video or share it via social media.
- In stores, KFC will be giving out four free Cinnabon dessert biscuits to customers that buy a KFC 10-piece meal or larger. The promotion will run from April 29 until June 30. KFC will also sell the Cinnabon treats for $1 each and four for $3.
KFC is known for pushing boundaries in its campaign messages. With a history of quirky campaigns, this isn't the first effort to play up the sex appeal of Colonel Sanders or to create a romantic message. The Colonel was recently portrayed as a sleek social influencer hipster while the chain's Valentine's Day effort highlighted a romantic evening on a faux bearskin rug that resembled the Colonel.
The messaging is a bit irreverent for a Mother's Day promotion, and time will tell if people will really share videos featuring Chippendales dancers with their mother's for the May holiday. However, if consumers find the video funny, they might share it with mothers or even with other friends and family members. The fact that Mother's Day is one of the chain's best-selling days illustrates the importance of holiday-specific marketing. By collecting data on where mothers live, KFC can track where the messaging is resonating. KFC expects about 300,000 families to visit locations across the nation on the May holiday, and anticipates serving four million pieces of chicken, 900,000 servings of mashed potatoes and a half million dishes of coleslaw.
Since mothers often look for a day off from cooking for their families on Mother's Day, it is also a nice bonus to create a special limited-edition dessert aimed at mothers. By creating a co-branded menu item, KFC can tap into the popularity of its own biscuits while connecting with another popular item, Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. Other brands to run co-branded efforts include Dunkin' and Peeps that made a special menu item around Easter and the spring season.