A brand, a celebrity and a tweeting chicken: KFC goes KGC with Oprah

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..

UNTHINK KFC: Kentucky Grilled 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!

Oprah on Twitter
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’.

KFC on Twitter

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. :-)

7 Responses to “A brand, a celebrity and a tweeting chicken: KFC goes KGC with Oprah”

  1. za3tar Says:

    As for KFC, surprisingly enough, from my personal experience i found that fast food chains taste much better in Jordan than they do in the United States. Not only that, but they are generally much more clean. So for me, i do eat at KFC and the other fast food chains when i am in Amman but avoid them when i am in the States. :-)

    As for twitter, i’ve been contemplating the value of such service. I have to admit i found it very stupid when i only thought about it as “status updates” services, and started to find more value in them when considering them as “micro-blogging” services. Who knows, i might finally decide to jump on the twitter/watwet band-wagen.

  2. Toujan Says:

    Well, and only 2 days ago, rogers, my mobile carrier, started sending tweets through! It only took them 3 years I guess Or it could be apple buying twitter and allowing tweets on iPhones. Either way, happy to be one of your 99 deciples :)

  3. Samar Hijjawi Says:

    yes i’ve read about this before, i wonder how many calories less gonna be.

    what is twitter, how difference from any other social websites?

  4. jaraad Says:

    This Oprah woman is really something. Her influence on the American culture is amazing. She started tweeting just couple of weeks ago. I am sure twitter now will have more than expected users. This watwet.com thing looks promising.

  5. hussein Says:

    Apple might buy Twitter soon..

  6. Bilal Says:

    I was a big fan of KFC and all other fast food chains in Jordan.
    It all changed now.
    The main reason why I stopped eating at KFC is Insider’s information that they are dirty, they use expired chicken, and other disgusting stories he keeps on telling us every now and then.
    Other reasons : check http://www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.com/

  7. Ammar Ibrahim Says:

    If only Haifa Wahby follows Oprah’s steps and starts watweting ;)

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