- KFC France has created a playlist for Spotify that showcases various hip-hop songs in which the brand is mentioned, according to press materials shared with Marketing Dive. Included in the Bucket Bangers playlist on Spotify are Kanye West's "Touch the Sky," the Beastie Boys' "Ode to" and Run DMC's "You be Illin."
- The campaign, created by agency of record Sid Lee Paris, will be promoted through Spotify banners and street-based marketing in Paris. Other artists featured in the list of 46 songs include: Masta Ace, Diplo, M.I.A., Rick Ross, Ghostface Killah, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and French rappers Maître Gims, Orelsan and Gringe. Fans can submit suggestions via social media for other KFC-linked songs not included in this first playlist.
- The lyrics of the chosen songs sound like they've been created by a copywriter for a KFC campaign. "Give me caviar every day," says a song by Orelsan & Gringe, adding: "I'll go to KFC." On "Touch the Sky," Kanye West recalled: "Me and my girl split the buffet at KFC." And, in a song called "Ouais C'Est Ca [Yes, That's Right]," Iam declares: "If we're talking about restaurants, let's go to KFC."
A brand-curated playlist is one way to tap into the emotional bond a listener has to music, potentially creating the kind of goodwill that happens when someone creates a playlist for a friend. In KFC's case, sharing musician-generated references to the brand gives it way to point out that the brand has been a pop culture staple for years. In the hip-hop community, such references extend back to the 1990s, when French rap duet X-Men referenced KFC mascot Colonel Sanders.
The branded playlist is just one of many ways that Spotify is helping brands connect to its users via music, helping reach niche audiences and build cultural cache. In 2018, for instance, Smirnoff successfully ventured into playlist-related marketing on Spotify with its "Equalizing Music" campaign about gender bias in music. Connected to a user's Spotify account, the Equalizer API analyzed the number of male versus female artists in that user's listening history. A slider control let a user increase the number of female artists in the playlists, helping to boost the streaming of women musicians on Spotify by 52% and garnering over 630 million impressions.
KFC's use of out-of-home marketing to spur interest in its playlist shows how brands can use billboards and bus stop placements to promote their Spotify playlists to on-the-go consumers who presumably could be listening to music on their mobile phone as they walk or drive by. Last year, Spotify employed data from its users' playlists to generate messaging in OOH advertising. One video billboard, for instance, featured the singer Ariana Grande and noted how many playlists featured her song "God Is a Woman," compared to songs that refer to God as a man. The score wasn't even close. At one point, it was 28,802 playlists for Grande's take, and 9 playlists for the male incarnation.
The KFC effort arrives at a time when brands are ramping up their use of music in their marketing as a way to tie together brand messaging across digital and offline channels.