KFC's scented firelog, Busch's sound button continue quirky holiday merchandise trend
- KFC teamed up with Enviro-Log to create a limited-edition firelog that smells like the brand's fried chicken, per a press release shared with Marketing Dive. The firelogs are available starting today (Dec. 13) for $18.99 at KFCFirelogs.com.
- In another holiday-themed product launch, Busch beer is unveiling the Bush button to cancel out awkward or uncomfortable holiday conversations, per details shared with Marketing Dive. When the button is pushed, the device says the brand's name in a soothing way to help everyone get back to enjoying their time with loved ones.
- Fans can enter to win a Busch button on Twitter by commenting with five emojis to describe their family gatherings using hashtags #BuschButton and #Contest.
Busch and KFC are the latest brands to unveil quirky holiday-themed items aimed at helping people enjoy the chaotic holiday season and cold-weather months. As in the case of the KFC firelog, these products are often sold direct-to-consumer from the brand, given marketers a chance to learn more about their customers by gathering data and be able to communicate directly with them in the future. Novelty merchandise is also an opportunity to attract attention on social media. The Busch tweet had already racked up more than 26,400 views as of press time, pointing to how younger consumers are interested in life hacks.
Quirky branded and fried chicken-scented merchandise is becoming a go-to tactic for KFC that appears to be resonating. The brand says the smell of its Original Recipe fried chicken is "unmistakable," and smells trigger areas of the brand linked to memory, according to research cited in the KFC press release. The "ultimate winter necessity" firelog join's the brand's chicken-scented sunscreen and candles, and other branded items, like wrapping paper.
Bush is billing its button as a way to promote family bonding and remove the tension of uncomfortable conversations. Including a social media contest could expand the campaign and boost brand awareness for Busch around the holidays. Beer brands have seen declining sales in recent years and have struggled to win over millennials, who prefer spirits and wine.
Busch recently jumped on another seasonal trend when it rolled out #BuschLatte billboards and merchandise, like T-shirts and coolies, promoting the beer as a cold, refreshing "latte" option. The campaign was a spoof of the release of Starbucks' popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, but Busch said the hashtag #BuschLatte is used hundreds of times each month by consumers referring to Busch Light.
The Busch button and KFC firelog follow a "robot bartender" accessory introduced by Stella Artois last month that attaches to robot vacuums and "serves" drinks and snacks while cleaning up after itself to take the stress out of holiday party hosting. Stella and Diageo brand Smirnoff Seltzer recently campaigns with a similar offer of travel upgrades to holiday travelers with middle-seat plane tickets.