KFC's Watt-A-Box: Innovative or Absurd?

July 28, 2016


How many times have you found yourself with a fierce craving for deep-fried chicken, but alas, you have no time because you need to go home and recharge your phone?

Probably never. So what is KFC trying to do with its new Watt-A-Box package that serves one of its value meals in a box equipped with a USB charger for your phone and a battery to power it? Is everything okay with the Colonel? Blink twice if you need help.


It isn’t a dream. Source

So, the burning question is: Is this just an absurd marketing gimmick?

Point: Of course it is. It is not feasible for this idea to take off and become a trend. The boxes are being released in only a few stores in two cities in India to select customers. In other words, you won’t be getting a Watt-A-Box. You probably won’t even get close to one. Plus, what in the world does a phone charger have to do with fried chicken anyway?!

Counterpoint: Look, it’s kind of funny, and we’re talking about it now. So KFC wins.

Larger point: All companies are packaging companies

What’s important to take from this story is the lesson that KFC in India is using packaging in a simple strategy:

  1. Stand out to your target consumer group
  2. Showcase a shared value or interest with that group
  3. Offer something unique and limited
  4. Make packaging part of the experience
  5. Get people talking and thinking about you differently

In fact, even the commercials put the actual food as a background character in a young girl’s story. A budding romance and the box itself play the feature roles:

The answer to the “absurd or innovative” question we posed is: Yes. It is both. But, more importantly, it is another example of how packaging plays a larger role in branding than many companies realize. (Look, it is really hard not to make another “think outside the box” pun here, it really is.)

Just remember two things: Your packaging is another way of advertising your brand, and Ernest is the custom packaging design partner you need. Need more guidance? Check out our free whitepaper No More Brown Box to get started. Then, give us a call to see how you can recharge interest in your product with new and innovative packaging!