Colonel Harland Sanders, the original entrepreneur of Kentucky Fried Chicken, has been popping up just about everywhere lately, and not just on TV but also in his own comic book, a romance novel, and now in his own video game.
The game called The Hard Way was created by W+K Lodge (a company focused on emerging technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence) and is meant to be an innovative approach to teaching staff how to properly prepare the chain’s famous fried chicken. But given the slightly ghoulish Col. Sanders and the overall terrifying atmosphere, you’d be forgiven for thinking this might be some sort of parody video released online by someone who has too much time on their hands.
KFC’s newest training video looks and feels more like a creepy outtake of a Bioshock video game than something a fast-food restaurant would use to train their employees but regardless if there is any truth to that, it sure does make one Hell of a brilliant marketing tool.
Talk about thinking outside the takeout box.
“Blending virtual reality with real reality, KFC is using VR technology to demonstrate how to make Original Recipe fried chicken in an entirely unique, hands-on and modern way. ‘The Hard Way – a KFC Virtual Training Escape Room’ is designed as an escape room where Colonel Sanders gives his trainees hints and clues along the way to ensure they are making fried chicken the Hard Way – the way that he invented more than 70 years ago.”
The game was created by W+K Lodge, Wieden + Kennedy’s unit focused on emerging technologies including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. The room is also full of Easter eggs players only notice if they pay attention to the full 360 degrees of the experience. There is a chandelier with silver chicken wings. There’s a rubber chicken on a countertop that if thrown, activates a laser beam that fries it more than its edible counterparts. The Colonel’s shadow can be seen through the blinds of a window on the back wall as he keeps a watchful eye on the process. On the same wall is a chalkboard inscribed with quotes from the Colonel. (There are also a few monitors on the wall that let users watch themselves play the game.)