While it may seem strange at first for a large brand to use memes to advertise or increase brand awareness, many companies have been using savvy meme marketing to their benefit in recent years.
One of these companies is fast-food company Kentucky Fried Chicken. The Twitter account of Spanish KFC has been very active, consistently posting memes to advertise their chicken. KFC also engages in absurd marketing schemes to reach younger, more meme-savvy audiences like KFC gaming, a Colonel Sanders dating simulator, and most recently, a KFC console.
This strange advertising campaign is just one part of a larger movement by brands to reach online audiences. Other brands like Steak-Umms and MoonPies have used Twitter in similar ways as KFC.
If you think about it, KFC’s marketing isn’t too dissimilar to what more standard advertisers already try to accomplish. They identified a niche demographic they want to market to, and vigorously advertise to them using memes.
If anything, KFC’s lean marketing says more about internet culture than it does about KFC. The Colonel is just capitalizing on it.
It’s all part of a scheme to get Tweets by these brands more traction by tweeting outlandish things that you would normally not associate with their respective brands (or any brand, for that matter).
KFC is clearly embracing the absurd and outlandish in order to reach younger audiences with it’s marketing, and it shows no sign of stopping as of now. If KFC were to hop onto the lean trend, it would need to be fast, considering how quickly trends like these dissipate.
KFC’s participation would probably be something along the lines of a post on their twitter account of a meme following the trend. The lean trend is generally open-ended, where a simple mention of the purple party drink would be enough.
It’s not too hard to imagine something along the lines a faux promotion of lean with a KFC meal, or a doctored image of the colonel with a cup of lean in his hand. KFC’s participation in the trend may even go viral, with news outlets writing articles wondering why America’s premier fried chicken company is promoting lean.
With Elon Musk’s recent takeover of Twitter, it doesn’t seem like this will be changing anytime soon. Elon is no stranger to being weird on the internet for attention.