What has happened?

In a move that’s delighted a 1.4 million-strong Instagram following, fast-food giant/secret-recipe-keeper Colonel Sanders has undergone a dramatic makeover in KFC’s latest campaign harnessing influencer culture. In a series of posts on the popular millennial channel, KFC have recreated familiar influencer clichés talking to their “fried chicken fam” audience, coining the hashtag #SecretRecipeForSuccess.

In a nod to the influencer sponsored content economy, the series includes partnerships with millennial-resonant brands Old Spice and Turbo Tax, as well as popular influencers and activist band Portugal, The Man.

Representing key influencer trends of fitness, spirituality, self-care and entrepreneurialism, the posts unsurprisingly feature a distinct lack of fried chicken or KFC branding; making for a purely entertaining strategy generating considerable engagements to date.

The Media Store Take

KFC’s strategy hones in on a cultural moment where influencers are experiencing more heat than ever for their lack of sincerity and often unsubstantiated messages. Closer to home, we’ve seen scrutiny on the insta-famous reach new heights this month off the back of a VicHealth report condemning influencers for promoting and glamorising alcohol to young and impressionable audiences. Despite this, there is no doubt their utility in marketing endures as does the Instagram platform evidenced by a 10% YoY increase in its effectiveness as a social media marketing tool according to the Australian Retail Outlook.

Capitalising on this overarching insight by harnessing the talkability of this channel-specific creative idea seems to have ultimately paid off, striking a chord with audiences whose engagements reflect a largely positive sentiment, applauding the satirical ingenuity.

Emily France