Taco Bell & KFC Costumes Capture Consumers’ Attention

Kimberly Surico |
 10/31/19 |
4 min read

Taco Bell & KFC Costumes Capture Consumers' AttentionCapturing consumers’ attention is never easy. Holidays help, particularly Halloween. And both Taco Bell and KFC are coming at it full throttle, with costumes that capture attention and keep these brands top-of-mind as the holiday season starts.

Social media analytics makes marketing fairly intuitive. Once a brand truly understands its audience segments, the ideas flow like spice.

Like the time some brands hopped on the Bandersnatch bandwagon, with the help of amazing influencers – like the cosmetics companies showcased here:

the time some brands hopped on the Bandersnatch bandwagon, with the help of amazing influencers

Or when Rent the Runway mastered the perfect user generated content mix and captured exceptional online engagement:

Rent the Runway mastered the perfect user generated content mix and captured exceptional online engagement

But, how do brands reach this level of consumer understanding nirvana? You guessed it – accurate social insight!

With it, they can take risks with better than average odds of them succeeding. Like creating Halloween costumes for the super loyal, and super hilarious consumers that love them. Consumers who aren’t shy about getting brand names tattooed on their bodies, for example:

Consumers who aren’t shy about getting brand names tattooed on their bodies

Halloween is for Brands That Get It

And really, when brands want to enhance awareness of their products, what better way than to create a mascot, of sorts (or in actuality)? There’s a reason why sports team mascots exist, after all. They’re lucky and they help generate goodwill.

There are mascots for schools, of course. And brands. But did you know that bands are also creating mascots? You would if you explored the sentiment around mascots in a powerful next generation AI-powered social analytics product!

Sentiment around mascots that informs KFC and Taco Bell costume creation

The mentions above (in top terms screen grab) that relate to BlackPink and #Lisa would direct you to tweets about the animated mascot named for a band member.

BlackPink mascot is as popular as KFC costume

From that, and other online indicators around this phenomenon, we can expect to see more than a fair share of kids channeling the K-Pop vibe this Halloween. And many parents exploring the K-Pop scene now and through the holidays as they plan presents. A brand riffing off of K-Pop in a creative way this season could capture some of that crowd.

But back to costumes!

What brand wouldn’t want to create a mascot to generate good will – and maybe offer a little luck (for the superstitious among us)? And once there’s a mascot, there’s costume potential, assuming the character resonates. Social analytics helps brands make sure of that!

Avoiding the Halloween Costume Crapshoot

Costumes may seem like a silly investment considering there won’t be many folks dressed up as a condiment or what have you. But there really doesn’t have to be a ton of participation to make this exercise in promotional marketing a viral success.

That’s the beauty of online.

Dressing up as a brand is a unique costume option that is sure to find its way on to Instagram and other social channels, where it will get lots of exposure.

And even clever variations inspired by the official brand costumes spread that awareness love. Sometimes they even do a better job than the official version!

Unique variation of official KFC costume

And they can offer exceptional marketing value with the holidays upon us, as gift cards to eateries make great stocking stuffers! So, being top-of-mind makes sense. Also, gift cards make great costume prizes too, apparently . . .

Taco Bell costumes

But although we know consumers love sports (and are at least familiar with their corresponding mascots) – are there any brands, and brand mascots, that consumers truly love?

There are!

Brand Personas Consumers Go Ga-Ga Over

There are more than a few brand personas that immediately come to mind for many consumers. These characters are visible on most media and solidify their brand in the hearts of consumers because they’re relatable and quirky. And distinctive. Each is very distinctive.

And if you think people aren’t paying super close attention to these fictional characters, you’re missing the point of mascots:

brand mascots that attract consumer attention

Here are a few that have captured the minds and hearts of consumers today.

Flo, from Progressive:

This peppy spokesperson has become much more than a brand mascot – she really is the brand. There have been other marketing campaigns that have experienced decent success but were predominantly short-lived. And certainly, don’t measure up to Flo!

online sentiment around Progressive insurance and Flo

Flo has a big personality and she isn’t afraid to show it. And because of this, she’s a consumer favorite for Halloween fun. Below, she’s pictured with her lesser known, but equally viral Progressive counterpart, Mayhem:

Flo and Mayhem costumes from Progressive

But Flo has another Halloween partner is crime from a rival brand, no less – that Geico Caveman.

The Geico Caveman . . and Flo from Progressive:

Thought to be a man ahead of his time, which is ironic, the Geico Caveman has stood the test of time and is still a viral hit in more ways than one. “So easy a Caveman can do it,” indeed!

He’s popular with today’s Halloween crowd and that says something . . .

Geico Caveman and Flo costumes

And then KFC has done a spectacular job of creating an ever-evolving persona with the Colonel, of course. Lots of love for the Colonel online and off:

Colonel Sanders love feeding KFC costume craze

And that makes sense as they’re invested a lot of time and effort into keeping the Colonel fresh and relatable to a wide variety of audiences:

Variety of KFC Colonels in costumes of their own

Is it any wonder there are lots of folks dressing up as the Colonel this Halloween? Or that the brand is so recognizable? KFC puts effort into its promotional game and it shows.

KFC costumes

So, although consumers may find them goofy, having Halloween costumes is smart brand marketing, assuming you’ve created a persona that’s recognizable.

If you haven’t (and certainly if you have), reach out and we can show you surprising sentiment consumers are sharing that could complement your efforts. There’s always something to surprise you – and that’s no trick. If anything, it’s a treat to uncover. Reach out to get yours!

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