KFC is crowdfunding its next marketing idea

A chicken bucket hot tub? A "smart cane" remote? The chain is asking supporters to back its newest marketing gimmick.
Photograph courtesy of KFC

Hot tub thigh machine?

A “Kentucky Fried Hot Tub” is among a handful of ideas that KFC is asking customers to choose from as part of a “crowdfunding” campaign for its next marketing gimmick.

The Louisville, Ky.-based chicken chain, which in recent years has released products such as a chicken-scented firelog and a Colonel Sanders bearskin rug, is giving customers an option to “back” their favorite idea for the company’s next product.

The company created the KFC Innovations Lab “to bring more of the company’s craziest and most innovative marketing ideas to life” by providing customers with the opportunity to turn some ideas into reality.

“KFC was founded with the spirit of innovation,” said Steve Kelly, KFC U.S. director of media and digital marketing. “With the launch of the KFC Innovations Lab, non-Colonels can now be part of that process and support important projects such as a hot tub that looks like a bucket of fried chicken, so we can keep focusing on making actual buckets of fried chicken.”

KFC has created campaigns on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo asking customers to “back” some ideas. Customers who “contribute” receive KFC Innovations Lab sweatpants, T-shirts or a 3D puffy sticker pack.  

The ideas include the hot tub, a “giant bucket” with “wood-fired thermosyphoning heating technology” and a capacity for five people.

There is also a “Colonel on Ice,” which tells the story of Colonel Sanders, an ice skating show that tells the story of KFC founder Harland Sanders.

KFC also is proposing a location tracking necktie called the “Little Colonel Locator,” a “Smart Cane Remote” that combines a cane with a smart remote, and a “Picnic with the Colonel,” a pop-up table and life-size cardboard Colonel Sanders.

KFC said that once a project becomes fully “backed,” it would begin production of the idea.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


In Red Lobster, a symbol of the challenges with casual dining

The Bottom Line: Consumers have shifted dining toward convenience or occasions, and that has created havoc for full-service restaurant chains. How can these companies get customers back?


Crumbl may be the next frozen yogurt, or the next Krispy Kreme

The Bottom Line: With word that the chain’s unit volumes took a nosedive last year, its future, and that of its operators, depends on what the brand does next.


4 things we learned in a wild week for restaurant tech

Tech Check: If you blinked, you may have missed three funding rounds, two acquisitions, a “never-before-seen” new product and a bold executive poaching. Let’s get caught up.


More from our partners