May 15, 2017
Celebrate Mother’s Day with KFC’s Romance Novella featuring Colonel Sanders
by Ryan Harrington
All kinds of people read romance novels. They must — after all, romance comprises the second-best selling category of fiction. But it’s true that the average readers of these blush-inducing tales are women ages 30-54. In the marketing boardrooms of this country, a lot of these people are called Moms.
In anticipation of Mother’s Day (if you’re reading this, it’s already too late!), Kentucky Fried Chicken—purveyors of fried chicken and experimental marketing concepts—has been keeping an eye on this demographic. The result? A Mother’s Day romance novella featuring the brand’s ambassador, Harland “Colonel” Sanders, entitled Tender Wings of Desire. No shit. (Oof, sorry mom, I’ll put a quarter in the jar).
According to the publicity trade site PR Newswire, the story unfolds like this:
Set in Victorian England, the novella follows rebellious Lady Madeline Parker, who finally feels like she is in control of her life after running away from Parker Manor and a loveless betrothal. When she finds herself swept into the arms of Harland, a handsome sailor with a mysterious past, she realizes she cannot control how she feels. Madeline must choose between a life of order and a man of passion.
The novella has been available as a free download at Amazon, though 100 lucky KFC Facebook followers will win a hardcopy and a free dinner.
But isn’t Mother’s Day about brunch? Flowers? A homemade book of coupons for back rubs? Why does KFC need to fry, bread, and add eleven secret herbs and spices to an already savory day? Turning back to PR Newswire, the answer may surprise you:
Mother’s Day is KFC’s best-selling day of the year. The restaurant chain experiences a 40 percent sales jump on the holiday dedicated to celebrating mom, serving about 380,000 families each year on Mother’s Day. That equals approximately 6.5 million pieces of chicken, 900,000 servings of mashed potatoes and gravy, and 480,000 servings of cole slaw.
Happy Mother’s day to all of the moms, marketers, and everyone in between.
Ryan Harrington is a senior editor at Melville House.