Forget Prime Day, KFC has something meatier going on at its new online merchandise boutique, KFC Ltd.
Created with its agency Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, KFC's shop has numerous themed goods on offer, including drumstick socks, Colonel Sanders t-shirts, a pillowcase that invites you fall asleep to the Colonel's face, a Finger-Lickin' Good gold necklace, a "Fried Chicken USA" sweatshirt a hipster could fall in love with and -- the pièce de résistance, a 400-year-old chunk of meteorite carved into the shape of a Zinger sandwich (to commemorate its recent trip to space). All the goods are limited edition, so chicken fans will want to act fast (especially on the Zinger meteor, since only one was created).
According to Steve Kelly, KFC U.S. director of media and digital, Colonel Harland Sanders himself was the inspiration for the boutique, which follows in the founder's own merchandising footsteps. "He was a machine -- if you go on eBay and search Colonel Sanders, you'll see he put his face on everything -- from salt-and-pepper shakers to weathervanes," Kelly said. "Now that he's back in pop culture, there's a shortage of that merchandise, so we created these things in his spirit. We needed to bring it back to live up to his original mission."
So, the $20,000 Zinger meteor -- is that a joke, or does KFC really expect someone to buy it? "Yes, and yes," Kelly laughed. The brand's only hoping to break even when it comes to the Zinger piece, and with the other goods, KFC isn't looking for those to provide another revenue stream. "The demand may be there, but we're not trying to turn it into that," said Kelly. "We want to make this more about love for the brand and building more of the rapport we had when KFC first started."
Going forward, KFC plans to team up with apparel and lifestyle brands on future products. This time around, agency Wieden & Kennedy and Staples were they key production partners. Wieden, for example, carved the Zinger rock while the brand tapped Staples because the retailer offered a lot of flexibility in allowing KFC to produce on demand.
Fun fact: if you look carefully, the collection includes various parts of Sanders' attire, including his bolo tie and pocket square. Subsequent collections will have more parts of his outfit on offer, so presumably, one day, fans will be able to go full Colonel.