By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

December 4, 2016 | 3 min read

KFC has set out to bring back the nostalgic social aspect of gaming with the help of gaming stars, grime legends and a uniquely designed couch complete with bucket holders and refillable drinks.

The evolving nature of videogames, specifically the popularity of online play, has had a huge impact on the social nature of gaming. For so long gaming would entail friends sitting together and playing split-screen multiplayer games, however the experiences have now become more insular due to the advancements in technology which means people no longer need the company of others to enjoy games.

KFC partnered with ad agency BBH to conduct a unique social listening project in an attempt to identify any opportunities within the huge gaming audience. BBH’s creative and data driven social content unit found a 500% rise in social conversations over the last three years surrounding the disappointment over the decline of split-screen gaming.

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The social listening also revealed an organic conversation amongst online gamers about KFC, which presented a unique opportunity for the brand to position itself as a facilitator in uniting the community.

The research paved the way for the launch of the ‘Colonel’s Couch’- a gaming sofa designed to help unite friends over games and food. The specially designed sofa features bucket holders, refillable drinks, chip trays, in-built speakers, lights that react to the gameplay and even wet wipe dispensers to keep fingers clean.

To mark the launch of the campaign KFC a live event this weekend to bring the best talent in gaming - Ali A, Clare Siobhan, MiniMinter and JMX - together with top grime stars - Big Narstie, P Money, Novelist and D Double E.

All the action was streamed on Facebook Live and Twitch, where viewers could watch the stars battle it out to determine who would win free KFC chicken for life.

Josh Benge, social media manager at KFC said: “We believe gaming is an occasion that should be shared with friends, so we were thrilled to see that the event - and the Colonel’s Couch - brought people back together, reigniting those friendly rivalries.”

Hamish Pinnell, creative director at BBH, added: “It’s reassuring to see that even when doing a live stream event, it’s still high level production values, preparation and craft that make it a success. Keep an eye out for the next one.”

Initial results show that the campaign was a massive hit amongst fans. 87% of KFC's target audience have seen the campaign in less than five days, with the live stream reaching 2.7 million people. KFC have confirmed that it was the highest level of organic reach ever for a KFC video.

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