KFC Puts the Colonel on Huawei Phones in China



The face of Colonel Sanders has a warmth that has brought consumers into KFC for decades. In China, where KFC has a larger market share than McDonald’s, those decades now add up to three. To celebrate, consumers in the area can now keep the Colonel with them—with a glance at their phone case.

Through a partnership with Huawei, fans can now get a phone that features Sanders on the back alone with the year (1987) KFC launched in China, the phone manufacturer announced on Weibo.

KFC is releasing the customized Huawei 7 Plus phone to mark its 30th anniversary in China. People needed to act quickly in order to get one, though, since only 5,000 of them have been produced.

“Between KFC and Huawei, one came from abroad and settled its roots in China. The other (Huawei) originated here and later expanded its footprint globally,” Steven Li, senior vice president of KFC marketing with Yum China, told Campaign Asia. “Both brands have witnessed the rise of China in these 30 years, and both embody the spirit of the times. Our collaboration is a homage to the era.”

KFC is also using digital in another way to try to bring folks into its doorways in Asia. It launched “K-music,” a new function on its mobile app that allows users to control music when visiting one of more than 4,000 KFC locations in China.

Owners of the new phone, which has the app preloaded, will get to use the jukebox function before everybody else does at month’s end. “Music is part of the lifestyle of young consumers and they want music to be on-demand,” Li commented. “Word-of-mouth and initial response from consumers (for K-music) has been very positive.”

Huawei, meanwhile, is also putting new effort toward getting a bigger piece of the market share in the United States. It just unveiled its online Huawei Museum, which aims to foster digital art and expression through their mobile devices.

“We want to empower a new era of mobile photographers, videographers, and storytellers through the Huawei Museum,” stated Vincent Wen, vice president, Huawei Device USA.

“In partnership with Leica, we developed the Mate 9, the most advanced smartphone camera. Now we hope to educate and inspire consumers to fully discover what is possible. We also want to provide a platform for artists to exhibit their work and share their stories.”

To help that cause along, the company has launched a contest, the Emergent Project, to identify new, interesting creators and types of creation. Winners will be selected weekly and featured on Huawei’s US social media channels. A photo of the month will be seen in Times Square as well as in Leica stores in New York and L.A.

While the contest may boost Huawei’s awareness in America, it is not the only thing that could bring about growth in America in the near term. Britain’s Verdict reports that Citizens Broadband Radio Service and Rural Broadband are two areas that Huawei is strong in and could help quietly boost the brand across the US.


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