KFC campaign targets the ‘couchgaters’ of the world

Scene from KFC’s Couchgating video

Nowadays, with the healthy food police constantly causing a ruckus about anything that smacks of unhealthy eating, it’s gotta be tough for KFC.  

Sure, the fried chicken chain supposedly has a healthier version of KFC still out there in the marketplace. But one doesn’t hear a lot about it these days.

Any healthier version of a KFC product most certainly isn’t in the forefront of a massive new advertising and social media campaign from DraftFCB/Chicago for KFC that is wisely tied to the football-mania that is sure to ramp up in the weeks to come as the Super Bowl draws nearer.

This KFC campaign is all about an attempt to introduce a new term into the American vocabulary.  That term is simply “couchgating.” 

While the term itself may be new, what it represents sure isn’t: namely millions of football fans sitting around watching their favorite game on television as they stuff food — in this particular instance buckets and buckets of KFC — into their mouths.

It’s certainly not a bad way to connect KFC to the pastime of watching football on television in the comfort on one’s own home or frat house or wherever.

Introductory online video sets the campaign tone

But of course, the new ad campaign wants to do more.  It wants to make viewers really embrace the concept of couchgating and have fun with it in all the ways that newfangled ad campaigns allow.

Initially, DraftFCB is trying to introduce the concept via an online video that, much to our surprise, doesn’t aggressively attempt to be as dumb as one might expect. After all, these are hardcore football folk that the new KFC couchgating campaign is most directly addressing.

What’s particularly interesting about the debut YouTube video is the tone of it.  This video really wants viewers to take this notion of couchgating quite seriously.  How do we know this?  By the way the actors/couchgaters look into the camera and recite their lines with something approaching utter sincerity.

Except, however, in those instances where the actors are trying to inject a bit of wit into the proceedings.  And then they do a great job of appearing genuinely witty.  Not dumb witty.

We suspect this successful effort to be both serious and amusing has much to do with the way the mix of performers were directed.  Someone appears to have told them not to do dumb, and that sage advice has made the video much more watchable. And the concept of couchgating much easier to accept.

Facebook component instructs on couchgating

But can KFC, the official sponsor of couchgating, make a mantra out of this new term?Scene from KFC’s Couchgating video

Heaven knows, it sure is trying.  The video is really just the tip of the campaign being used to sell the world on couchgating.  There’s an elaborate Facebook component (www.facebook.com/KFC) that allows visitors to bone up on many aspects of couchgating.

At the Facebook site, visitors may, for instance, contemplate the rules of couchgating (“If a fellow couchgater falls asleep, all defacement must be drawn in washable marker.”), learn about couchgating legends (Meet Stan “Legs” Laramie who perfected the technique of getting food from table to mouth handsfree.) and pick up some couchgating tips (“Shouting at the television usually makes your team do better.”)

Social media certainly hasn’t been ignored in the grand scheme of this couchgating campaign.  Would-be couchgaters are being encouraged to join the conversation through the hashtag #couchgating.

No avenue overlooked to connect with public

Plus, through a partnership with ThePostGame.com, a daily digital sports magazine, KFC is bringing current and potential couchgaters a so-called “Masters of Couchgating” video and editorial program.

And just for good measure, KFC has thrown in a couchgating contest. The grand prize is a living room transformation to create a perfect setting for couchgating.

Indeed, it would appear no possible avenue of connection with the public has been overlooked in this expansive — and no doubt expensive — effort to make couchgating a term familiar to millions of Americans.

Now if DraftFCB and KFC can only keep those healthy food police at bay, agency and client can continue to have a lot of fun with their push to transform millions of Americans into couchgaters with a passion for KFC.


Agency creative credits:  Todd Tilford, CCO; Chuck Rudnick, GCD; Todd Durston, VP/CD; Berk Wasserman, VP/CD; Ivo Knezevic, EP. 
Production: Production company, Hungry Man, L.A. Kevin Byrne, EP; Scott Vincent, director; Caleb Dewart, producer; Nigel Blunk, DP.
Editorial:  Editorial, Hagon, London; Christina Matracia, EP; Alex Hagon, editor. 
Finish: Optimus. Katie Smith, producer; Ed Nichols, online editor.  Color: Company 3. Rhubie Jovanov, EP; Stefan Sonnenfeld, colorist. Audio: Another Country. Tim Konn, EP; John Binder, engineer.


Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com