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KFC Launches a Next-Gen Gaming Console that Warms Up Chicken

Can’t get your hands on a PS5? You’re in luck — KFC’s newest marketing campaign is a bucket-shaped gaming console.

KFC recently announced the release of its own gaming PC, the KFConsole. While the brand originally teased the concept back in June, many assumed it was a viral hoax. This week, KFC officially announced the roll out of the new product through the KFC Gaming twitter (yes, that is a real thing), with a tweet that proclaimed that the “console wars are over.” 

The chicken brand’s unusual marketing campaign comes amid a months long and highly publicized shortage of PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles

KFC built the bucket-shaped KFConsole in partnership with PC maker Cooler Master, and it actually seems to feature some impressive gaming specs including 4K capability and VR compatibility. Most notably, though, is the console’s “Chicken Chamber” — a cooling system that redirects heat to a specific area designated for, you guessed it, Kentucky-fried chicken.

Clearly, QSR and fast casual franchise brands are eager to get a piece of the $159.3 billion global gaming market. Other major food service franchises such as Taco Bell and Burger King have all developed branded video games and consoles in the past.

KFC’s new video game console also falls in line with the brand’s tendency for boundary-pushing and ironic marketing campaigns designed to get people talking. In September of 2019, the brand released video game, "I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator" in which players were able to hit it off with a “young and hip” Colonel Sanders. In February 2020, KFC and Crocs announced the KFC X Crocs Bucket Clog, a limited edition shoe covered in a fried chicken print. Just this past month, KFC partnered with Lifetime on an original mini-movie starring Mario Lopez as the brand’s mascot. 

While marketing campaigns get weirder and weirder, franchisors like KFC who are willing to get creative are going to stand out, especially in this unrelentingly strange year.