What happens when KFC brings tailgating indoors via TV? couchgating

By Natan Edelsburg 

“Friends plus football plus KFC equals couchgating. What’s the square root of that? Original Recipe Bites.” So says one of the “couchgaters” in KFC’s new ad campaign launched with the help of Draftfcb Chicago. With the 2013 NFL Playoffs underway and the majority of Americans watching football from their couches, KFC has introduced the concept of couchgating – the act of tailgating from your couch, with KFC food an integral part of the equation. Here’s how TV is playing a role.

The end of the TV ad prominently features the #couchgating hashtag. Part of KFC’s campaign is to select the best tweets and Facebook posts using the hashtag, which they will feature in the “Excellence in Couchgating” section on their Facebook fan page, where the posters will be entered to win couchgating-related prizes.

To kick off the integrated campaign KFC utilized a guerrilla marketing strategy, placing unbranded, classified ads, in local newspapers advertising a free couch. Two students, one from Xavier University and the other from Indiana University, who responded to the ads received a brand new couch and gift certificates. A member of the Delta Tau Delta Fraternity at the University of Kentucky won his frat house a complete overhaul of their TV room.

Another interesting component of the campaign is KFC’s partnership with ThePostGame.com (the official digital magazine of Yahoo! Sports). ThePostGame will create custom couchgating video and editorial content for KFC. According to Eric Herd, “ThePostGame has established itself as the industry experts on the intersection of sports and lifestyle for fans of all ages and appetites. It was only natural that we team up with KFC to school people on the finer points of ‘couchgating.’” The video content will consist of a “Masters of Couchgating” series features one-on-one interviews with athletes and celebrities about their couchgating experiences. Editorial content will revolve around couchgate-themed articles such as “The Dos and Don’ts of Couchgating” and “The Ultimate Celebrity Mancaves.”