The Secret Code Word is “Buffalo”

You’re not likely to see me talk about television commercials very much here, especially from fast-food chicken joints. But Kentucky Fried Chicken has done some interesting things with the promotion for its new Buffalo Snackers sandwich, and you just might be able to come up with a strategy for your blog and business from taking a look at it.

The Buffalo Snackers commercial features three firemen, one of whom is feasting on a 99 cent “bucket o’ noodles”, while the other two give him a hard time for not enjoying KFC’s new chicken sandwich creation for the same low price. Big deal, right?

The interesting part is that KFC imbedded a special message in the commercial that can only be seen by watching the commercial frame by frame using a personal video recorder such as Tivo. What a way to get people to closely watch a commercial in this day and age of PVR fast-forwarding, eh?

This is a nice little publicity technique that’s worked pretty well. People are talking about it. But luckily, KFC didn’t stop there.

Rather than leave a cute little message like “Try Buffalo Snackers,” KFC made the message interactive by flashing a code that when entered at the KFC website, produced a dollar-off coupon for a Buffalo Snacker sandwich. In other words, KFC is using classic direct marketing techniques that allow for campaign-tracking and relationship-building.

It’s been said in direct marketing circles that the mass advertising of products and services is like proposing marriage before asking for a first date. Since such a proposal is rarely accepted the first time out, the advertising salespeople tell you to keep proposing over and over so as to eventually achieve market penetration (no pun intended).

The smarter thing to do, of course, is to ask for a first date instead. Then the courtship begins, and just like with good marriages, the courtship continues well after the sale.

Whether you want to call it lead generation or list building, relationship selling works. So, here is a 5-step process that the KFC campaign can teach you about growing your business with blogs, email and RSS:

  1. Identify a disruptive trend in your industry or niche.
  2. Embrace the disruption in a way that gets people talking.
  3. Offer a free resource rather than a sales pitch.
  4. Use the offer to begin a relationship via an email or feed subscription to your blog.
  5. Start courting!

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Comments

  1. I’m just about to do this for ” several ” of our 14 blogs.

    I’m creating a free info-product to get them on my list and get them used to me emailing them with more free info-products, over time, with OTO’s thrown in very sparsely.

  2. I didn’t know about that.

    Cool idea by KFC.

    Cool of you for letting us know.

    Cooler if you would have given us the code :)

  3. Read the headline again, Char. :)

  4. whoops.
    I’m humbled.

  5. Brian, I posted about this about a week ago.

    Check out the result here:
    http://www.funwithjustin.com/2006/03/07/free-a-copywriters-best-friend/

  6. I love it. And it’s out of Louisville, too. ;)

  7. Creative. It would be cool to know how many coupons are produced.

  8. Great article, but one super minor correction. Doesn’t he say buck-o-noodles? Not bucket, would be funny if it really was a giant bucket.

  9. Heh, Michael, I think you’re right. He’s eating out of one of those noodle cups though, so I think I just wanted it to be called “bucket o’ noodles.”

    Ah well, I’ll leave it as is, just cuz it’s funny to me. :)