KFC comes clean after making up fictitious food blogger

Bloggers have taken the world by storm in the last few years. [Insert personal praise for Prime Time here]. Why? Because, the content they post is C.A.T: credible, authentic and trustworthy.

The social influencers that have risen up out of the ranks – having turned their hobbies into businesses – may be slightly compromised thanks to the introduction of #spon and #ad hashtags, which are required to clarify when they’re getting paid to say nice things about products. But, the micro bloggers who still turn up to work and find time to write about what drives them are able to remain true to themselves – which is why they’re still one of the most trusted sources for accurate online information.

So, to read that KFC (the brand that pushes the line with crude content when it comes to its digital activity anyway) cat-fished customers by creating a fictitious clean eating flogger (food blogger) to promote its Dirty Louisiana burger is quite outrageous.

Figgy Poppleton-Rice has a blog, Instagram and Twitter account with almost 30,000 followers combined and the idea to make her up came when the fast-food chain’s marketing team realised that 80% of the top-selling books on Amazon were about healthy living.

KFC's fictitious blogger Figgy Poppleton-Rice

In an attempt to reverse the trend – and capitalise on a slight lean towards fitness fatigue – it used social listening to plan a tongue-in-cheek campaign. Using Figgy to drip-feed countless images of kale, almond milk and cauliflower rice, it was part of a bigger piece to reveal the brand’s dirty burger, which has since generated millions of views and thousands of shares and comments on its Twitter and Facebook profiles.

A novel approach, most consumers have taken kindly to the campaign (which was mostly driven by KFC due to its potential reach) because of its humour and talkability. It’s even generated global PR coverage with articles on Mashable, Men’s Health and Yahoo! to name a few – although all of these publications did call KFC out on its stunt.

 

But, looking through the campaign, it didn’t matter. In fact, I can see why it worked so well. KFC researched its target customer, developed an anti-customer persona, and tied this with current trends to craft a relevant campaign that its actual audience would find hilarious.

Which prompts the question: Will more brands be willing to push outside of its comfort zone in an attempt to create unique content that’ll grab attention?

As long as the preparation towards the big reveal is balanced just right, most marketing teams will have the prowess to pass it off while having good fun with their followers. It’s a win-win situation.

In an industry where marketers are at constant risk of ‘content shocking’ their audiences (producing irrelevant content that consumers simply can’t keep up with), it’s a great example of content-first advertising that’s both interesting and entertaining.

With less than a month to go until April Fools’ Day, I hope KFC has still got buckets full of energy to make the most of this opportunity too.

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