That's a large user base and more businesses are discovering that social media is an invaluable platform for advertising. But as an increasing number of businesses are advertising on these platforms every day, it is becoming more difficult to get noticed.
Small businesses can interact with followers due to their focused user base. Large businesses however, need to be savvy and get creative as their large user base covers a wider range of ages and interests.
To promote the launch of their new, limited edition ‘Dirty Louisiana’ burger, KFC ran a tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign that spanned across social networks in the weeks running up to its release:
The campaign generated a lot of buzz, duping people into believing that KFC had gone all ‘clean eating’ and healthy by promoting a new 'Clean Eating Burger'. Fronted by the peppy Figgy Poppleton-Rice
This worked for several reasons:
- KFC crafted a believable character. With a website and a social media presence of her own, Figgy Poppleton-Rice had the traits and mannerisms of a stereotypical 'healthy eating' food blogger.
- KFC actively engaged with commenters throughout the campaign which only enhanced the believability.
- KFC knew their audience. Let’s face it, fast food isn’t the epitome of healthy eating and their consumers know this. The absurd contrast of the 'Clean Eating Burger' with KFC's usual offerings helped the campaign go viral.
- The use of hashtags ensured that there was a central hub for buzz and discussion
As of writing, the reveal video has over 10 million views and 70 thousand comments on Facebook, far exceeding all the videos they have posted, both before and since.
Campaigns like this can be risky. On one hand, you may alienate or even offend potential customers. On the other hand, the cheekiness and humour prove to be great combinations for viral marketing. In KFC’s case, it paid off and it could be argued that the demographic that KFC is poking fun at were never their target audience anyway.