Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
When it comes to fast-food marketing, anything comes and anything goes.
Often quite quickly.
Yes, you have the more staid offerings of McDonald's.
Who can forget the recent Burger King campaign in which candid photographs of customers who had eaten large meals and fallen asleep were used as proof of the meals' size?
For its part, KFC has regularly offered tangents of weirdness. The Colonel performing the Dirty Dancing jig with a bottle of maple syrup, for example.
The brand's latest foray into garnering attention is, though, somewhere out there. Far out there.
You see, KFC -- or rather Colonel Sanders himself -- suddenly emitted a 62-tweet storm yesterday in order to, well, you tell me.
Please let me regale you with the first of the 62 tweets:
Howdy! I've written an essay: 'Why the Carnegie Institution for Science Should Name Four of the Newly Discovered Moons of Saturn Gullinkambi, Fjalar, Unnamed Rust-Red Rooster of Hel, and Eggther. A Persuasive Essay by Colonel Sanders' @SaturnLunacy #NameSaturnMoons
Howdy! I've written an essay: "Why the Carnegie Institution for Science Should Name Four of the Newly Discovered Moons of Saturn Gullinkambi, Fjalar, Unnamed Rust-Red Rooster of Hel, and Eggther. A Persuasive Essay by Colonel Sanders" @SaturnLunacy #NameSaturnMoons Thread (1/62) pic.twitter.com/CIQSjLeE2m-- KFC (@kfc) December 3, 2019
What followed were 61 more tweets explaining why the Colonel was intent on getting the Carnegie Institution for Science to name four of the planets after three roosters from Norse mythology and their muse.
It's true that Saturn's moons are named after giants of mythology.
It's also true that the Colonel's passion for this subject is clearly enormous. In his ninth tweet he offers:
I can't stress this enough; in Norse mythology there's literally giant chickens and a guy who sings with them, alerting everyone that the world is about to be destroyed and subsequently reborn.
Many might be currently familiar with the feeling of a world being destroyed.
Could this be an extremely clever way to comment on climate change and the meaning of life? Perhaps not. For the Colonel makes clear:
I do not mean that literally our lives or universe are being destroyed and reborn. Metaphorically, each day we wake up to a new dawn, to the rooster crowing, and it is as if the world has been made anew.
And truly, have you ever heard an advertising icon ever utter words such as these:
Everything is cyclical. The constant destruction and renewal of the world. At the crux of that destruction and rebirth are the crowing giant roosters and the giant who sings along with them.
The Colonel reaches the height of his oratorical powers when he offers this:
These Norse giants also provide an interesting answer to the question, 'What came first? The chicken or the egg?' In Norse mythology, neither came first. Thinking of things this way is to miss the point entirely. One cannot exist without the other. A chicken cannot exist without having been an egg, and an egg cannot exist without there having been a chicken. It is almost tautological.
Some might worry that this sort of musing is almost pathological for a fried chicken brand.
Is this just creative people having a good time? Can there possibly be a purpose?
I wonder, indeed, how many people have staggered all the way to the 62nd. tweet.
After a day, these tweets had enjoyed few retweets and likes.
Does it matter?
Or will customers only care that KFC is doing something faintly ludicrous in order to get some publicity, which is what KFC does?
I'm sorry, I meant in order to support the furthering of science.
And now a marginal tangent.
You'll never believe this, but KFC has this week had one of its ads banned in the UK.
The offending headline:
What the Cluck?
And how did the Colonel's lawyers justify this? Like so, according to The Drum:
In its defense, KFC said it did not agree that the claim included a word which was a substitute for an expletive. Instead, it argued the phrase 'what the cluck?' represented customers' response to great value KFC. The word 'cluck,' it said, was used as an onomatopoeic reference to the noise of a chicken.
Which may, in some eyes, make the Colonel's 62 tweets seem positively intellectual.
The end date for the Saturn moons naming contest is December 6.
I'm sure the Colonel will be on edge, hoping that he won't have to eat crow.
Meanwhile, I fancy most KFC customers will wander along to their local restaurants and be entirely oblivious.