Last month, a random Twitter user pulled back the veil on KFC's brilliant social media strategy. The user, @edgette22, noticed a hidden joke baked into the company's Twitter account: It only follows 11 other accounts, six of which are guys named Herb, while the other five are members of the Spice Girls. The marketing guru behind the homage to the chain's "11 herbs and spices" recipe definitely deserves a promotion.
When @edgette22 noticed the subtle gag, it caused a furor, testing the limits of commotion caused by fast-food chains online. In the intervening days, @edgette22 has probably been relishing his 15 minutes of internet fame, but KFC has decided to massage his ego with a fancy gift.
The chain sent him an oil portrait of himself sharing a KFC drumstick with Colonel Sanders against a stunning nature backdrop, with mountains towering in the distance and a majestic waterfall spraying mist next to a deer. It basically puts Kentucky Fried Chicken on equal footing with the Medici family, or any of history's great artistic patrons.
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The lucky recipient of the painting, whose real name is Mike Edgette, had been expecting something from the fried chicken peddler since his tweet went viral. KFC had contacted Edgette during the height of the viral madness, asking him to DM them and to expect something in exchange for his great discovery.
As for the painting, which shows him living out a great bromance with the colonel as they piggyback off into the sunset, Edgette said it was all kind of unexpected. "There was no explanation as to why I'm piggybacking the Colonel," he told the Argus Leader. Edgette also received some gift cards and a letter signed by Colonel Sanders, thanking him for his "services on the front lines of the internet."
While lots of guys probably flirt with the idea of festooning their living room with self-portraits, Edgette has decided to give the KFC oil painting the prominent real estate it deserves: "It's in the living room for now," he told the local paper. "But we'll see how long that lasts."
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