Work We Like: KFC x Super Deluxe


If you can’t tell, we’re big fans of work that pushes the limits of conventional creativity. A brand that has been doing their damndest to shatter those conventions lately? KFC. From casting Reba McEntire as the Colonel him(/her/their-)self, to swapping their acronym to read ‘FCK’ in a PR stunt that earned them immediate forgiveness for running out of their signature item—chicken. Now, they’re back for more; earlier this month, they teamed up with entertainment company Super Deluxe to create a bizarre livestream that turned into a viral activation.

The concept was simple—create a cat tower in the likeness of their brand mascot, Colonel Sanders. Bring in some choice accent furniture, add cats, and then, set up a livestream of the scene. The result was viewership of over 700k. These aren’t vanity metrics—this viewer pool was highly engaged, in part due to the set-up of the live event. Direct actions would happen as a result of engagement, prompted with a simple caption, “If enough of you share, we might add more kittens.” So, a cat would be added to the room based on user selection or they had to reach a certain number of thumbs up’s before the door opened to reveal either a cat or a quirky surprise. Viewers could even help decide the names of the cats.

This was ultimately a huge win for the brand, for a few reasons: first, they got both current and potential customers talking with them, which, as many brands can attest, is becoming harder with every new algorithm. Second, it’s an expert use of the mechanics of the livestream to create a memorable activation experience that hit a home run for the brand’s engagement.

From a content perspective, the livestream honed in on an excellent point of empathy, even if it was shamelessly grasping at low-hanging fruit. Steve Kelly, director of media and digital at KFC US, says, “Everyone knows the internet loves cats, so we thought ‘let’s do what the Colonel would and give the people what they want’.” Indeed, at a time when each day’s news headline is enough to put you off your lunch, offering up a cute cat video is a surefire way to keep people watching. Yes, sometimes it really is that simple.

It’s on our 2018 bucket list to kick off planning for an in-person activation—will that client be you? Hit us up! And in the meantime, catch the livestream below, if you don’t mind losing the next 4 hours of your life:

Featured photo from KFC / Edelman.