So, there’s a new branded video game coming out, featuring the player as a student who needs to succeed in culinary school while trying to impress a fellow aspiring chef, Colonel Sanders.
As if that’s not enough, the game will be a dating simulator. That means lots of dialogue choices that could result in Colonel Sanders slurring his secret list of herbs and spices into your ears as he falls asleep after a night of finger lickin’ goodness.
(Okay, look, there’s no way the game won’t be even cheesier than what I just wrote.)
Branded video games aren’t a new thing. One of the most notable previous attempts was Pepsiman, which ended up being a cult classic in that “it’s kinda bad but since they weren’t taking themselves too seriously…” sort of way.
However, what will make KFC’s I Love You, Colonel Sanders a marketing success, as I’m predicting, is the huge audience for watching other people play games, i.e. Twitch streams, YouTube Let’s Plays.
And the game seems to be set up that way with its tongue-firmly-in-cheek premise, humour, and presentation. It’s a game made for video game streamers and their viewers.
Hence, KFC will be getting into the consideration sets of hard-to-reach demographics through streams, YouTube videos, and actual playthroughs.
And let’s not forget the virality that’ll be (and has already been) generated by the sheer fact that KFC actually produced a dating simulator.
All these should add up into some impressive organic WOM effect.
This game is long-term marketing at its most bizarre and potentially, finest. As I’ve presented in my Slideshare deck on balancing short and long-term marketing, the latter works by refreshing a brand in its audience’s minds. And when it’s time to make the actual purchase decision, the brand that stands out the most in a consumer’s relevant consideration set will likely make the sale.
I could end this article with a clever little line that somehow loops back nicely to my headline but nobody really cares about that. Here’s another weird screenshot from the trailer.