KFC has the secret recipe for chicken and for advertising, which they’ve proven time and again. And with Lifetime Movies an established holiday staple, what better way to offer consumers what they crave than with a mini-movie featuring a sexy Colonel Sanders? Sound cheesy? It sure is – and in the most amazingly viral ways. Let’s break down and see how social listening helps this quick serve swing for the fences again and again.
Consumers Love a Bad Love Story
At the start of the pandemic, when everyone was realizing staying inside was for the best and were burning through movies faster than you can say ‘binge watching’ – Netflix stepped up and offered us the Tiger King. Joe Exotic came to save us.
The Tiger King turned into a viral marketing vehicle for brands – one that showed brands the power of video, audience understanding, and timing. The meme of the moment, lasting for a month, was everything Tiger King.
The flamboyant Joe Exotic had the internet abuzz and put a spotlight on the seedy underbelly of our viewing habits. Everyone loves a bad love story, but many brands didn’t realize just how far that envelope could be pushed until that moment. But, some brands did, as they had solid social listening practices already in place.
KFC, for example, has had the pulse of its audience for a good stretch of time now, as evidenced by its risqué Mother’s Day Chickendales advertisement last year:
Timing is Everything
It wasn’t only clever, but well-timed. According to Forbes, “[c]hoosing Mother’s Day as the hook should also pay off for KFC. The holiday is historically a major boon for restaurants. In 2018, about 87 million adults visited a restaurant for a Mother’s Day meal, according to the National Restaurant Association. That equates to about 34% of all adults in the U.S. – the same number of people who cook their special meal at home.
The dining-out plan isn’t a cop out, either. The association polled moms last year to gauge their gift requests and 47% simply wanted a restaurant meal with family. If those same moms happen to choose KFC this year, chances are good they’ll stick around for dessert.”
So, what better time to tout its “secret recipe” than during a holiday when moms have been cooking meals nonstop and are open to tasty alternatives as everyone is home from school for Christmas and hungry? A Recipe for Seduction it is!
A Recipe for Seduction Timed Right
Isolating our social listening search to focus specifically on this KFC/Lifetime movie combo, and leaving out the mentions of delicious chicken and mashed potatoes, we see quite a spike on the day A Recipe for Seduction was announced:
And on 12/13, when it went live, it didn’t disappoint either. Using social listening, we can see lots about who in their audience segments were watching and talking about it. We see the 25-34 age group dominating the conversation:
And when exploring sentiment around Recipe for Seduction keywords along with overall RomCom love, we see a lot of passionate response from consumers:
This makes sense, as “A Recipe for Seduction” has great scenes – and lines, which we won’t spoil here. The writing, and premise, is solid in all of the best/worst ways. You’ll have to watch the 15-minute production to see. (It’s worth it.):
The awareness they’ve built with this mini-movie will last well beyond the holiday season, much like the Tiger King memes.
Consumers Hungry for More
Based on its past prowess, as we look to the future, we can expect more enticing advertising to accompany this brand’s product placements. And possibly a series of KFC shows, similar to its campaigns where they switched out actors playing the Colonel.
Here, we see people viewing Lifetime Movies for the first time with this mini-movie’s release, reacting positively and wondering if these are the “norm.” They certainly could be!
And it’s important to note that this mini-movie is far from a hard sell for its chicken. We only heard a few mentions of an alleged “secret recipe” early on to cleverly connect this bit of fiction to KFC’s long-standing promotion. And viewers didn’t see a lot of chicken till the very end, when this show hints at a sequel, which really needs to happen. Someone has to remark that it’s ‘finger-lickin good’ in Part Two, after all.
If you’d like to explore social listening to support your brand’s own cinematic or otherwise awesome efforts, be sure to reach out for a demo. 2021 expectations have consumers primed and ready for everything online – and it’s up to you to either set that bar or scramble to jump your competitors’ hurdles!