Nothing Says Love More Than a ‘Beef Bucket’ KFC Cooked Up in France

Hoax causes Valentine's Day mayhem among chicken fans

The campaign ended today with a bang. KFC France / Sid Lee Paris

For Valentine’s Day, KFC sparked a lover’s quarrel with its chicken-lovin’ fan base in France through social posts that announced the addition of a “Beef Bucket” to the restaurant’s menu.

“We decided to make peace with lovers of #beef, so we’re launching the #BeefBucket soon!,” proclaimed Twitter and Facebook teasers last week. ”Rendezvous on our page 2/14 to discover the first KFC beef bucket.”

Some customers beefed about the intro and told the chain via social media and online petitions that eating KGFC-branded steak just wasn’t on their bucket list. (In other words, they gave KFC the big “FCK You!”)

Today, KFC revealed that it was just playing a game of chicken, exploding the hoax with—what else?—a brimming bucket of beef that blows up in glorious slow motion:

“Today is Valentine’s Day, so I decided to tell the world that I refuse to cook anything else but chicken,” a Colonel Sanders voiceover proclaims. “Even if cooking beef could have given me 34 percent more market share and dozens of new restaurants, I have only one passionate and exclusive love: and it’s you, Chicken!”

Those meatballs were fake, by the way. No highly processed, scrumptiously seasoned animals were blown up in the making of this film.

Céline Mornet-Landa and Clément Mornet-Landa, a husband-wife team who serve as creative directors at Sid Lee Paris, helped cook up the beef bucket ruse.

After some well-known burger chains introduced chicken items, “Business logic states that KFC should have followed suit by launching a beef recipe,” Clément Mornet-Landa tells Adweek. “Not doing so is really the most beautiful way to show Col. Sanders’s commitment to always be 100 percent faithful to chicken. And Valentine’s Day is the best time for him to re-pledge that commitment.”

Just minutes after the Facebook teaser launched last Thursday, “tons of fans starting coming forward, all commenting about their disappointment in seeing KFC launching a beef dish, to the point that they launched petitions against KFC to get the Beef Bucket banned,” he says. “It’s received the highest engagement rate for any KFC France post ever.”

The effort generated thousands of retweets and almost 10,000 Facebook comments in less than a week—all big numbers, we’re told, for a viral push in France.

“Reactions were incredible!,” Céline Mornet-Landa says. “We knew that the KFC community was committed to the brand’s values, but we figured most of them would be open to trying a new recipe, even if it was beef.”

“We were very pleasantly surprised to discover how important it is for fans that KFC only makes chicken,” she says. “In a fast food market where everyone is always after new recipes, this kind of exclusive loyalty to a single product is extremely rare.”

As for the Mornet-Landas’ Valentine’s plans, Céline says they might visit a KFC by the Seine, and enjoy a romantic interlude “eating chicken tenders like Lady and the Tramp.


Client: KFC France
Chief Marketing Officer Yum! Brands – KFC France: Pascale Laborde
Head of Brand and Advertising: Sophie Lacroix
Brand and Social Media Manager: Celine Leblanc
Agency: Sid Lee Paris
Chairman – Executive Creative Director: Sylvain Thirache
President: Johan Delpuech
Creative Directors: Céline & Clément Mornet-Landa
Managing Director: Mehdi Benali
Art Directors: Francis Pluntz, Jessy Kikabou
Account Director: Héloïse Marchal
Account Manager: Camille Caucat
Head of Social Media: Alexandre Ponte
Social Media Manager: Gabriel Teisson
Head of Production: Thomas Laget
Producer: François Brétéché
Production Company: Sid Studio
Director: Yoann Plard
DOP: Alexis Ghnassia
Music Producer: Superpitc
Postproduction Company: Sid Studio
Postproducers: François Brétéché, Alexis Ghnassia

Don't miss the Brandweek Sports Marketing Summit and Upfronts, a live virtual experience Nov. 16-19. Gain insights from leading sports figures on how they navigated a year of upsets and transformation and what's in store for the coming year. Register

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.