Colonel Sander’s Romance Novel Showcases Innovation In Marketing

Jacques Laffoon - Author

May 6 2017, Updated 9:57 a.m. ET

Colonel Sander’s romance novel, Tender Wings Of Desire, was released this week for free on Amazon as a way for the restaurant to capitalize on the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. The holiday is one of the most profitable days for KFC as families buy bucketfuls of the world famous chicken to feed the family while mom rests. The novel features the iconic Colonel as a visiting sailor in Victorian England, who sweeps a lovelorn woman off her feet after she flees a loveless marriage.

The book hits all the points a romance novel is supposed to have, including a description of the hero most KFC customers would not recognize.

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“He was tall, dressed like a sailor with a striped linen shirt and woolen peacoat crusted with sea salt. His hair was light and fair, framing his head in airy curls, and the eyes that stared back at her were almost the exact color of the sea, perhaps darker, but not by much, and they hid behind glasses with dark frames.”

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The cover of the book features a ripped Colonel Harland Sanders holding a young woman in is arms as she looks lovingly up at him. The English seacoast in the background is a bit out of character because KFC began in landlocked Kentucky.

While the combination of the most popular fiction genre in the world with the best-selling chicken might seem to be a strange mix, the marketing strategy has created a viral sensation. Google Trends showed there was a surge of activity with the search of “KFC romance novel,” and internet searches of items on their menus were all trending upward.

The novel is an example of how two seemingly different products can be melded together for marketing purposes. Other companies have also used strategies that, at first glance, would seem to be an odd mixture. However, business history has shown us that going against the grain sometimes results in remarkable payoffs.

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Another example of innovative marketing would be the game Cards Against Humanity and their price increase on Black Friday. Yes, you read that right, they raised their prices on a Black Friday by $5. The gambit paid off as the Internet buzzed about the company that raised its prices on a famous shopping day when most drop their prices to makes sales.

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If you have never heard of Rudy’s BBQ in Texas, then it is likely you have never heard their famous slogan: “Worst Bar-B-Q in Texas.” The Austin-based restaurant has the slogan painted right above the entrance, and it has proven to be one of the best advertising moves of the company. The business also will also purposely misspell words in their advertising as a way to cause people’s eyes to linger on their advertising. What’s unique about their approach is it runs completely contrary in a cooking style where it is common for restaurants to label their barbecue as the “best” or “finest.”

Nissan and Amazon combined their services for a marketing campaign that drew rave reviews. Nissan is one of the top selling brands of cars in the world andAmazon is recognizable for its logo, and the unique tape it uses to seal its boxes. Together they produced a commercial that showed the giant internet shopping business delivering a huge box on the back of a flatbed trailer. Once it arrives at a house, it is opened to reveal a Nissan Versa. The car company rewarded the first 100 buyers of a Versa Note a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

The Colonel Sander’s romance novel is another example of original thinking in marketing. Instead of paying for product placement in media, such a bucket of chicken in a TV show or movie, they placed the media into their product. The unique move of the company has made it a top search on Google, but we’ll have to see how sales do this coming week to gauge its effectiveness.

[Featured Image by David Silverman/Getty Images]


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