Finger lickin’ good just got real with KFC’s new product launch

We’re all for new product launches and brand extensions but for US fast food chain KFC, have they taken it to the extreme by introducing lick-able nail polish?  Which, you guessed it, tastes like chicken!  They’re really bringing their brand motto of “finger lickin’ good” to life – as the food giant unveiled its new product in Hong Kong earlier this week.

1) The new product

KFC, like most fast food companies, continuously look at ways to stand out from the crowd and to offer their customers something different.  So for food giant KFC they looked at how they could address their main branding message in that their chicken and tastes/flavours are finger licking good.

Working with the food technologists who helped to devise KFC’s flavoursome recipes, the team set to work on how they could incorporate their two most popular recipes (original and hot and spicy) into edible nail polishes.

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2) The result

A new product launch in the shape of edible nail polishes.

In a KFC brand statement to Ad Week it reported that “To use, consumers simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick—again and again and again,”.

To promote their branding exercise, the nail polishes were delivered to major media outlets in a couture-quality packaging in KFC’s corporate red and white colours.  The nail polish bottles themselves were also emblazoned with the slogan “its finger lickin good”.

Great brand recognition through the packaging – also acting as the silent salesman as the box remains on someone’s desk for a period of time…

The colours have been described as hot orange to represent the “hot and spicy” taste, and the nude shade representing the original recipe.  However, according to the BBC who received complimentary bottles of both polishes, the nude shade was more like “a dirty olive green with black specks”. Not something the brand wants to be associated with I should imagine?!

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3) Testing the market

According to a KFC spokesman they’re aren’t mass producing these polishes but simply trialling the idea to test market reaction (and of course creating a great marketing campaign out of it at the same time!).

Currently the polishes are being heavily promoted by KFC Hong Kong on social media, but are not available to the general public.

Ogilvy Creative Director, John Koay, commented: “This campaign is designed to be intriguing and fun to increase excitement around the KFC brand in Hong Kong.”  (Hong Kong was chosen as this was where the idea had originated, and Hong Kong customers seem more curious when it comes to limited-time offerings).

To help support their social media campaign the brand has also released an online music video and is inviting the people of Hong Kong to choose the best flavour to go into mass production (however, they should take note of the Vegemite case study, where if they are asking their customers for their choice, they need to listen and actually give them that choice when it comes to mass production, or they too could suffer the consequences).

kfc_polish_campaign_the_branding_journal_34) Good for brand?

More interesting at this point possibly.  Great brand recognition through the campaign and social media attention it is attracting.  It is certainly showing their creative side, re-enforcing their brand statements and values and above all, it’s getting people talking about the brand.  Whether this be from loyal customers or new, it seems to be hitting the spot when raising their status in the industry.

Even if the polishes aren’t exactly shaping up to how they’re being advertised, the promotion seems to be working judging by the activity on social media.

Of course as well as building the brand and strengthening their position, it can’t be bad for sales either, with everyone talking about fried chicken and posting snaps on social media, who wouldn’t be hungry!

References:  AdWeekBBC News
Pictures from: AdWeek, NY Daily News

Amanda is a copywriter with over 10 years’ experience in the world of marketing and communications. With an effective and no nonsense approach, she can look at any challenge with a creative and can do attitude.

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