Ad of the Day: KFC’s ‘Friendship Bucket Test’ Is Like a Deep-Fried Newlywed Game

BBH's holiday work zeroes in on friends, not festivities

Nothing says friendship over the holidays like a heaping bucket of KFC chicken.

That's the premise, more or less, of BBH London's "Friendship Bucket Test" for the brand's U.K. and Ireland operations. The quiz challenges BFFs to prove how well they really know one another by answering a series of questions. The prize, of course, is KFC chicken.

"Casting was critical," BBH creative director Hamish Pinnell tells Adweek. "We used a specialist street casting company and scoured the U.K. for weeks to find best friends from all walks of life—people that would be engaging and endearing to an audience."

Alas, in the clip below, none of the people queried point to their pals when asked, "What would you save from a fire?" ("Myself" and "nunchucks," however, were righteous replies.)

The test is meant to serve as "a gentle reminder to spend some quality time together over an informal meal," says Pinnell. 

Some commenters have noted the similarity between this campaign and The Newlywed Game, but the latter didn't include drumsticks or even biscuits, as far as we can recall.

The next ad asks, "What's the nicest thing you've done for me?" Since they're dining at KFC, don't expect "Taught me about nutrition" as an answer:

Below, the buddies describe their dream man/woman. Alas, no one lovingly points across the table at his or her bestie—or cheekily shouts, "Colonel Sanders!" 

The seasonal tie-in is mostly muted, with just a sparkly yuletide tree lurking in the background. "We have done families connecting over KFC in the past, but this is a very crowded space for brands at Christmas time in the U.K.," Pinnell says. "So we chose to focus on connecting friends instead. And we knew that the best way to celebrate real friendships was not to create a traditional narrative TV ad." 

Nonetheless, in the commercial below, KFC goes full Kringle, asking, "What's your favorite thing about Christmas?"

In addition to the spots, there's an online version of the game and a roadshow that travels to KFCs in the U.K., allowing players to win bucket upon bucket of crispy, crunchy, deep-fried hen parts.

Cool—as long as nobody asks, "Who's your best friend?" That could get awkward.


Client: KFC

Meghan Farren, KFC Marketing Director

Evgeny Bik, KFC Marketing Manager

Mette Jensen, Brand Manager

Agency: BBH London

BBH Creative Team: Dan Dehlavi, Drew Haselhurst

BBH Creative Director: Hamish Pinnell

BBH Strategist: Lucian Trestler

BBH Strategy Director: Tom Roach

BBH Business Lead: Sian Cook

BBH Account Manager: Jamie Kisilevsky

BBH Account Director: Leo Sloley

@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.
Publish date: November 24, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT