"American families are time-starved during the holidays and often overlook eating dinner together," said James O'Reilly, CMO for KFC, in a statement. "We're rewarding families with an entertaining contest that puts celebrating back into the holidays, as well as the perfect meal option for sharing dinner with the family."
According to research commissioned by the company, 65% of Americans feel the holidays are more stressful than tax season.
With an eye toward easing that stress, the company is promoting its Festive Feast, a 10-piece chicken meal with sides, drink and dessert. In addition to traditional marketing elements like television and print advertising, the company has devised an Internet promotion, in which people can enter photos and videos of their decorated homes.
The company will narrow down the entries to 12 finalists. After a public vote, the company will award 11 semifinalists free KFC for a month, while the company will pay off one grand prize winner's December electric and a credit card bill's charges for the month. The grand prize winner will also get free KFC for a year.
But the company isn't totally ignoring the gift-giving season. While consumers are encouraged to upload photos and videos on KFC's Web sites, they'll also have the opportunity to purchase gift checks on the site.
Other fast-food chains have also been promoting gift cards for the holiday season. Burger King, for instance, has put together a promotion of its gift cards via a scratch-and-win in which the purchasers get an instant-win ticket for each gift card bought. McDonald's, meanwhile, has introduced three new holiday-themed designs for its ArchCard.
As more consumers use the Internet for recreational and business purposes, more and more marketers are turning to online contests to promote their products. Fast-food company Chick-Fil-A recently launched a similar promotion using photos and videos to find its biggest fans. PepsiCo last month launched an online game and contest that allows consumers to devise the newest flavor of Mountain Dew.