A new boneless chicken ad campaign has been recently launched by KFC with the tagline, “I ate the bones!” KFC believes this new tagline and hashtag are certain to go viral. So confident in fact, that they are spending an estimated $50 million on this promotion! Although KFC is still the #1 chicken chain in the country, they’re feeling some serious heat from the #2 competitor, Chic-Fil-A and are hoping this campaign might help bolster their lead. To be honest, we have to agree that the two new commercials we have seen touting #iatethebones are pretty hilarious — take a look:
Although most companies with a knowledge of the power of social media understand the importance of including a hashtag in a marketing campaign, one must approach with caution. Hashtags are a mode of aggregating content on Twitter, Instagram and other platforms. They are not only used to measure engagement on a platform, but to also be the glue in conversations between users. Whether a company chooses to create their own hashtag or simply enter into a conversation that is already taking place to ‘own the moment,’ it can greatly effect the overall success of a campaign.
From our experience, it’s best to keep hashtags short, easy to remember and seamlessly integrated throughout other marketing channels. It should be top of mind for users — an immediate connection between the product being sold and the company at hand. Sadly, there are many brands that currently promote social hashtags that are either too long, complicated or are unrelated to the overall initiative. These companies miss out on a very simple and easy engagement with users, therefore eliminating the chance that one would remember the original brand messaging at a later time, preferably around the time of purchase.
Thankfully, we’re confident that #iatethebones will be quite the success for KFC. The commercials are funny, relatable and make you want to say “I ate the bones” tagline out loud. With electronic devices at a user’s finger tips around the clock, it’s no wonder that the hashtag #iatethebones was taken directly taken from the main line in the ad to be promoted on social. It’s a natural transition from the offline ad to an online experience. And although the campaign is still new, we believe that these factors make the overall campaign memorable and highly engaging!
What other companies do you think have had success with hashtags?
– Mike & Samantha