Yesterday, Oprah created an internet phenomena. She bought lunch for America at KFC. People went crazy over this and millions of people downloaded the free meal coupon on Oprah’s site.
Now, I am a KFC fan. If you grew up in Amman in the 80’s, KFC might have been your first encounter with American fast food. Their store in Shmeisani (still at the same location but the decoration and size have changed dramatically over the years) was something so exotic, unique and attractive!! Almost unbelievable now, but true.
I still like to go to KFC occasionally. Their Extra Spicy thing which they promoted recently is my new favorite
Oprah caused KFC to become a top search term in Google over the past day. On Twitter, it became the number one “trend”. What she’s promoting is a new product. Kentucky GRILLED Chicken. Yes you read that right.
KFC and Oprah want you to UNTHINK KFC and re-program your mind to think of grilled, not fried chicken..
It’s one hell of a branding challenge to make people think of you as ‘grilled’ when ‘fried’’ is your middle name. And their not dropping fried from the menu. In fact if you go to kfc.com it’s all still about fried chicken.
But Oprah is helping them do it!
So repeat after me: Grilled. Grilled. Grilled.
Here’s an interesting social media angle to all of this:
Look how many followers Oprah has: over 871,000. She’s only following 11 people by the way (not like other celebrity twitter users who are followed by tens of thousand but who also supposedly ‘follow’ nearly the same number of people). And while I never even watched more than 15 minutes of Oprah in total my entire life, I could see that her tweets seem genuine. Yesterday I un-followed Guy Kawasaki, one of my favorite the tech and entrepreneurship gurus, because his Twitter channel was updated every other minute!! The “guy” already has over 20,000 updates. Apparently he’s using some automation application to send tweets fed by all sorts of news and twitter feeds. And supposedly he’s “following me”. Yeah right!
Twitter works perfectly for celebrities to spread their message even further. But how does it work for a brand like KFC? Well, KFC did become a top term on Twitter during the past 24 hours, but KFC’s Twitter channel only has a little above 1,800 followers as I write this. People follow people. Especially famous people. They don’t follow the utterances of a ‘brand’.
One thing is sure. Twitter seems unstoppable now. I’ve been on Twitter since 2007 but only recently become active again, as more and more people from my social network starting following me (I garner a humble following of 99 currently . My mini blogging has been more on watwet.com, of which I am a co-founder. A closer linkage between my Watwet and Twitter accounts would be really nice and I can safely disclose here that “something is in the works” on that front.