🍟 10/24/2022 – The Top 10 Franchise Marketing Campaigns


Top 10 Franchise Marketing Stunts

Here is the top 10 franchise marketing campaigns (in no particular order):

1. McDonald’s French Fry Crosswalk

During Zurichfest, a major public festival in Switzerland, McDonald’s decided to get creative and change a crosswalk into a package of their famous French fries, with the fries acting as the stripes on the crosswalk.

The best part? The crosswalk led right on to a McDonald’s! 

2. The Taco (Liberty) Bell

On April Fools Day in 1996, Taco Bell announced an acquisition: The Liberty Bell. The newspaper ad placements cost over $300K, but was estimated to generate ~$25 million in publicity. Sales spiked in the following weeks.

3. KFC’s Apology

In 2018, a chicken shortage caused KFC restaurants to be fully out of chicken products. 

Naturally, this resulted in tons of angry customers and negative press. Rather than shying away, KFC owned their mistake with the above ad. The ad struck a chord, and despite just appearing in 2 newspapers, it was estimated to have reached ~800M people (publicity included).

4. Operation Alaska

In 2012, a resident of the remote town Bethel, Alaska put up a poster saying Taco Bell was opening a location. Residents were naturally disappointed to find out it was just a prank. But Taco Bell HQ caught wind of it, and responded by using a massive helicopter to deliver a taco truck with enough ingredients to serve over 10,000 Doritos Locos tacos!

5. Paving for Pizza

Potholes in the road means damage to your pizza during delivery. Domino’s took matters into their own hands, and traveled to all 50 states to fix potholes and earn goodwill with customers.

6. Eau De Pizza Hut

Inspired by a facebook post that asked what you’d call perfume that “smelled like a box of pizza being opened” – Pizza Hut responded by actually creating it! 110 bottles were sold to random Pizza Hut fans who commented on the original facebook post.

7. The Chicago River Shamrock Shake

Every year, the Chicago River is dyed green for St. Patty’s day, and McDonald’s took full advantage of it in 2010. To promote the seasonal shake, they built a massive replica spilled over the banks of the Chicago River.

8. Finger Lickin’ Nail Polish

KFC’s slogan “it’s finger’ lickin good”, typically refers to their food. But in 2016, KFC made edible nail polish for customers in Hong Kong to increase brand awareness.  They sold two “flavors”: Original (beige) and Hot & Spicy (red).

9. Burger King Sponsors Stevenage FC

Stevenage FC is a soccer team in the 4th tier of the English soccer system. BK paid to be the primary sponsor, meaning their logo goes on the Stevenage Jersey – but more importantly, their logo is on the jersey in the EA Sports FIFA video game. 

Burger King challenged all FIFA video game players to play as Stevenage, score goals, & share on twitter to earn rewards The result? Stevenage was the most used team in career mode in FIFA ’20, & the team’s jerseys sold out in real life!

10. IHOP’s Rebrand

In 2018, IHOP rebranded to IHOb i.e. major pivot from pancakes to burgers. After a month of social media engagement, they revealed it was a stunt to promote their new line of burgers. The burgers subsequently saw a 4x sales increase!

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