Take a quick look at the following list of people. What do all of them have in common?
It’s an ecclectic mix of people, but if you answered “The Spice Girls and a bunch of guys named Herb,” or “The people that KFC follows on Twitter,” you may have come across this tweet that went viral this past weekend.
.@KFC follows 11 people.
Those 11 people? 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb.
11 Herbs & Spices. I need time to process this.
— Edge (@edgette22) October 19, 2017
According to an article on Adweek, Wieden+Kennedy, the agency employed by KFC, silently planted this Easter egg over a month ago, waiting for the day that someone would notice.
The KFC Secret Recipe
KFC marketing has long touted its Original Recipe Chicken seasoning as a secret recipe of “11 herbs and spices.” This catchphrase has become common cultural knowledge, and it just took someone with the correct social network to make the connection and spread the word.
Sometimes you just have to put stuff out into the universe and cross your fingers that the internet will work its magic. – Freddie Powell, creative director at Wieden+Kennedy
While Herb Scribner – journalist, author and one of the “Herbs” followed by KFC – discovered this back in September, it wasn’t until user @edgette noticed the connection on Friday that the KFC brand went viral.
I have to admit that I saw this fairly early after the original post, shared in my feed by a fried of a friend of a friend of a friend of the original poster. I then went on to share it myself, thinking that it was a genius and subtle piece of social media marketing. Little did I know how much it would blow up. It’s fascinating to see exactly how quickly the tweet went viral.
Looking through the reply chain on the original tweet, this wasn’t the first user to make the observation. What was it about this user’s network that cause the brand to go viral when others posted about it and tiwent nowhere? Was it the general awe and deliver from this person’s observation? Their network?
Incidentally, I also suggest checking out the recent posts on @edgette22’s twitter feed where you can find other impressive social media interactions between the brand and the user.