KFC channels kittens, robot Colonel in 4-hour Facebook live stream
- KFC and entertainment website Super Deluxe hosted a four-hour live stream event featuring kittens and a seven-foot cat tree shaped like the friend chicken chain's mascot Colonel Sanders.
- From 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday, viewers tuned in to Super Deluxe's Facebook page to watch the cats interact with the multi-level Colonel cat climber, which featured dangling chicken drumsticks, a spinning cane and spots for the kittens to lounge.
- Every few minutes, viewers were given the chance to vote on what happened next: activate the Colonel's laser eyes, toss in a yarn ball, launch treats or turn on a cat-themed TV or radio station. Several times an hour, cat facts would flash on the screen and viewers could comment with suggestions for what to name the cats. At its peak, the live stream's viewership hit nearly 3,000 and totaled 439,000 over the four hours. The live stream generated 17,800 comments and 5,200 shares as of press time.
While KFC and cats don't typically go together, the fried chicken chain found a quirky and attention-grabbing way to drum up engagement on social media. Viewers could interact with the live stream in various ways every few minutes: comment with name suggestions, share to activate cat facts or use emoji reactions to vote on what should happen next — on World Emoji Day, nonetheless.
The live stream event, dubbed the "Colonel Cat Climber," demonstrates that there's seemingly no end to KFC's quirky marketing stunts — or Colonel Sanders' entertainment stints, for that matter, after his cameo on "General Hospital" and appearance at a college graduation last month. Playing off the popularity of cat videos online, the move also did some good, as all the cats shown in the video are available for adoption from Heaven on Earth, a "kitten sanctuary" near Los Angeles.
The build-up to the event was relatively low-key, with KFC sharing a Facebook post and a YouTube teaser on Sunday night. On Tuesday, viewership wavered throughout the four-hour event, ranging between 800 and nearly 3,000 for a total of 439,000. To spur some sharing and lure more eyes to the branded video, folks were encouraged to share the link to Facebook friends. The video's bio said that every time someone shared the video, they'd add a kitten to the room. However, the video generated 5,200 shares, and no more than about a dozen cats ever appeared, sparking some frustration among viewers in the comments section.
To drum up additional participation, KFC encouraged viewers to submit cat drawings on the microsite kitten.superdeluxe.com. Entrants submitted their drawings along with their name and email address, which KFC could potentially leverage for future marketing purposes.
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