Industry News | December 20, 2016 | QSR Exclusive Brief

KFC Harnesses the Power of Snapchat

Michael Platco/KFC
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This Thanksgiving, KFC tapped Snapchat celebrity Michael Platco for the role of Colonel Sanders in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Platco recorded the experience from the float for his Snapchat story in order to engage a younger audience in the traditional holiday event.

Viewers were able to experience the parade from the Colonel’s perspective and get a behind-the-scenes look at Platco’s transformation into the role of Colonel Sanders. The content reached nearly 2 million people.

“While watching the parade is often a Thanksgiving tradition for families, we know there is a large millennial audience that is tuned into social media, and not watching television,” says Staci Rawls, director of communications and public relations for KFC U.S. “Using an influencer enabled us to reach that audience, extending the parade content beyond the television screen.”

Rawls says KFC chose Snapchat as a medium for making the brand relevant to younger people, as nearly 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 38 use the platform, and seven out of 10 Snapchat users are millennials.

Though the brand considered several social media influences for the event, Platco, who has been hailed as the “Van Gogh of Snapchat” by Buzzfeed, was chosen based on his artistic vision.

“Mike has a great following and a unique artistic approach to Snapchat,” Rawls says. “After talking with him, he was excited about the opportunity to be Colonel Sanders in the parade, and we knew he was a great fit for the brand and the right person for the job.”

Following the success of Platco’s parade content and a lens KFC sponsored on Snapchat in September, the brand plans to continue using social media campaigns to reach fans in 2017 starting with a new Instagram program in January.

By Peggy Carouthers