Cellphone Charger With Those Chicken Wings?

I’m fascinated by a campaign that fast food conglomerate KFC is running in India where they actually have a cellphone charging battery built directly into the food box if you order a specific menu item. Here’s a photo:

kfc charger box chicken iphone smartphone battery

It’s quite brilliant for the KFC target customer because it’s a younger demographic that eats fast food and they’re the very same people who live and die by their smartphone, whether they’re in Mumbai or Memphis. And that hashtag? It says #SabPeBhari, which translates roughly to #WattABox. Get it?

Now there are a lot of challenges to delivering this successfully, because it requires that the box not get any damage while in the restaurant storage space and that the battery units are fully charged and properly inserted into the box during assembly, but as you can see in the photo, it definitely could be a draw for youth who need a charge and have a spare charging cable.

But then again, power outlets that include built-in USB chargers could be just as much a draw (particularly if they were inset into tables or otherwise more accessible than a typical wall outlet awkwardly behind the cranky old guy eating in the corner) and both have the same challenge of requiring that customers carry a power cord with them so they can use it. Clearly having “loaner” cables will be a fail as they’ll all vanish within the first thirty minutes.

Reports are that this campaign focused on Mumbai and Delhi, India, hasn’t done particularly well and that one social media customer reported that the charger in the box was dead on first use, which is disheartening. Still, kudos to the KFC India team for trying something new. Now let’s see what US-based fast food franchises will do as they think creatively about customer demographics, smartphones and charging needs…

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