KFC Spices Up Life of Guy Who Discovered Its Secret Twitter Recipe
The fried-chicken chain really knows how to spice up a publicity moment.
The fried chicken chain got a PR boon last month when a guy paying close attention (maybe a little too much attention?) to its Twitter feed noticed something interesting.
”@KFC follows 11 people. Those 11 people? 5 Spice Girls and 6 guys named Herb,” tweeted Mike “Edge” Edgette, who posts under the handle @edgette22, on October 17. “11 Herbs & Spices. I need time to process this.”
It didn’t take long, though for the post to go big-time viral; it has now garnered 323,000 retweets and 716,000 likes and 4,700 comments.
KFC, which trumpets the 11 herbs and spices in its “secret recipe” (as if I needed to tell you that), did give Edgette a little time, though, waiting several days to respond, despite the Sioux Falls, S.D., social media manager dropping a few hints about maybe getting some free food.
Then, on October 20, Edgette received this tweeted response from the Colonel: “You said you needed time. We're just giving you space. DM us when you're ready.”
“YOU GUYS. It's happening,” Edgette shared with his modest number of followers and the many others watching it all unfold.
Then, on November 4, KFC took it to the next level: It sent Edgette a painting — in a fancy gilded frame — of him clutching a chicken leg and getting a piggy-back ride from KFC mascot/spokesman Colonel Sanders, images of which he promptly posted on his Twitter feed. (The company also sent him 52 $5 KFC gift cards, Mashable reports.)
“Dreams DO come true. #GiddyUpColonel,” Edgette wrote.
It was such a good PR move that the Internet wondered whether it had been played. Was Edgette, who works in social-media marketing, a shill? The theory took hold on Reddit, but Edgette has insisted he has never worked for KFC parent Yum Brands or its ad agency Wieden & Kennedy. He told Adweek he had no idea how they got an image of him to work from.
“I'm just a guy who spends too much time on Twitter,” he wrote on November 9.
That part, at least, is indisputable.
Oh, and a coda: The reported possible reunion of the Spice Girls in 2018? Edgette recently tweeted that he “can't help but feel partially responsible” for it. Clever.
Come to think of it, he’s the one who really knows how to spice up a publicity moment.
Photo courtesy of @edgette22