Brandable: Food Brands Use 'Togetherness' To Engage Consumers

Kathy Hutchins / piotr szczepanek / Vvoe / Toufic Araman / Shutterstock.com


While countries worldwide adapted to coronavirus precautions, like stay-at-home mandates, fast-food and consumer brands launched creative, heartwarming campaigns to communicate messages of closeness despite being physically apart. These campaigns reminded consumers that their favorite brands care, and kept the brands prominent for when businesses reopened.

One of these campaigns was launched by Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) UK and Ireland to announce the reopening of 500 restaurants for delivery and takeout. The campaign kicked off with #RateMyKFC, a social media campaign where KFC invited fans to recreate their own renditions of KFC’s wings and share photos to social media channels, using the hash tag, for the company to critique. A TV ad was created using the shared photos and shown to the melancholy tunes of Celine Deion’s All By Myself. The ad closed with a note from KFC to its fans, saying “We’ve missed you, too,” but that KFC will “take it from here” when it comes to its signature chicken. According to Marketing Week, on Twitter this campaign received hundreds of tweets and a 101-percent engagement rate over six weeks. The campaign was uniquely crafted to engage end users by encouraging them to make new memories while at home, while tying the family-friendly, feel-good experience back to KFC.

To invoke more inspiring moments of at-home fun, McDonald’s Belgium held a social media giveaway where fans were asked to complete three tasks for the chance to win a 500-piece cheeseburger-shaped puzzle: share the post in a story, create a story explaining why they want the puzzle and tag @mcdonaldsbelgium.

Kraft Heinz Canada took it a step further by giving away what they dubbed was “the world’s slowest puzzle”—a 570-piece all-red ketchup puzzle. The company awarded only 57 puzzles, symbolic of the 57 varieties of Heinz labeled on each ketchup bottle, to those who best answered the question of who they would choose to finish the puzzle with. It was also offered for purchase online while supplies last for $24.99. Heinz incorporated a social good aspect into the effort by donating $10,700, the equivalent of 107,000 meals, to Feeding America.

And Jack In the Box, one of the largest hamburger chains in the U.S., launched two social media campaigns—#StayInTheBox, encouraging customers to stay at home by sharing fresh content and virtual experiences, and #PromInTheBox, a sister campaign inviting high schoolers to participate in a taco-themed, virtual prom. Originally designed for two Los Angeles-area high schools, the virtual prom was streamed worldwide via Twitch and IG Live on May 9, and received nearly 30 million impressions. To really make it a must-attend, the company partnered with 1-800-Flowers.com, Black Tux and Lulus for prom essentials, DJs Diplo and Dillon Francis, and YouTuber Jesse Wellens, with guest appearances by Renegade dance creator Jalaiah Harmon and rap duo Rae Sremmurd.

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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