Brand Spotlight – KFC Tackles the Coronavirus Lockdown

The marketing gurus at Mother, the guys who manage KFC’s brand, have done it again! Instead of going dark during the global lockdown (as many brands have after finding the need to reduce marketing and ad spend), KFC have managed to adapt their strategies to ensure the brand stays relevant, and we think they’ve done a cracking job!

With a number of the Colonel’s fans in our midst, the R52 team review the latest ad campaigns to come from KFC…



With a video set to Celine Dion’s All By Myself, KFC’s post-lockdown announcement that their fryers would be heating back up managed to garner a heap of interest, hitting over 4 million views on YouTube.

Utilising content made by customers, the video offers a witty and humorous response to its fans, and it’s definitely committed to hitting us right in the feels.

“When I saw this advert on TV, I thought – Yes! They’ve done it again!”, says R52 Graphic Designer, Kayleigh. “I just loved the ad. I love the fact that they’ve used content from their fans, and in something so simple. It’s just a short compilation showing a few attempts to cook KFC at home, with those two statement lines at the end: “We’ve missed you too, but we’ll take it from here.” Very funny, very clever, and very effective!”.


It’s ****** ****** good!

After over 60 years of being known for the chicken that’s finger lickin’ good, this month KFC have decided to drop their famous slogan… but not entirely.

The latest campaign, launched on 24th August, sees a video featuring KFC ads in a number of settings, with the ‘finger lickin’’ part of their slogan pixelated out. The video ends with the line, “That thing we always say? Ignore it. For now.” 

In an interview with Marketing Week, KFC UK and Ireland’s Head of Retail and Advertising, Kate Wall, said: “This year has thrown everyone – all brands – and we took a bit of a global stance that actually right now our slogan is probably the most inappropriate slogan out there, so we need to stop saying it.”


“Deducing that promoting finger licking was probably not the best idea during a global pandemic, KFC have adjusted one of the most recognisable elements of their brand, and that’s quite a brave thing to do,” says Lolli, R52’s Copywriter. “The great thing about the way they’ve handled this is that the ghost of their slogan is still there, and their brand is so well-established by now that they can have confidence that customers will still recognise what once stood behind the pixelated graphic.

“The move shows a level of responsibility which is definitely admirable, but the fact that the ‘finger lickin’’ hasn’t been completely removed also shares a degree of optimism, harkening to a time when we all come out of the other side of this pandemic and can once again lick chicken crumbs from our fingers without a care!”.




 So, earlier this year, Microsoft and Sony were working hard to generate a buzz around their new gaming consoles, set to be released just in time for Christmas. All looked well and good with the world – the internet exploded with its usual debate of which console looked better and which console owners gamed harder…

That is until KFC threw a spanner into the mix with an announcement made on Twitter, and the KFConsole was born.


In its aptly edited and super intense release trailer, KFC attempts to play with the big boys, making use of all the classic marketing techniques used in the gaming industry. The trailer is set to a broody, droning dance track with moments of heavy bass and sweeping violin uplifts, and there are plenty of close-ups and fade-outs, coupled with abstract angles and slow-motion tech reveals. At one point, the console (not dissimilar in shape to the iconic KFC bucket) is even depicted in silhouettegenius.

KFConsole as depicted in release trailer, 15th June 2020


PlayStation 5 console, as pictured in hardware reveal trailer, 11th June 2020.
XBox Series X console, as pictured in world premiere 4K trailer, 13th December 2019







We can already guess what you’re thinking. It has to be some kind of parody, right? Could KFC really be developing a gaming console which has a dedicated chicken chamber?

One can dream.

As you can imagine, the internet really doesn’t know what to make of it. On the one hand, it all seems completely ridiculous. ‘There’s no way it runs using an 11GHz Zinger processor,’ we hear you cry!

But then…

  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • True 4K
  • 120 FPS

Seems legit… This could really be happening.

All we know is that the trailer ends on this little line, fading in from the black:



Just in time for Christmas…

We’ll wait and see.

In the meantime, we’re just going to keep an eye on the comments section to see if anyone can crack the code!



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