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McDonald’s has been changing up its restaurants’ formats and menus in a bid to continually reinvent itself. While the change is noticeable and has likely helped footfall, it hasn’t done much to overhaul the company’s image. Meanwhile, KFC has taken a different approach, with a heavy focus on marketing to stand out from the crowd. Here are five reasons why they smashed 2017

They set a Zinger into space

There are definite questions as to whether it actually got all that high. However, KFC’s attempt to benefit from a growing interest in space, and from consumers’ excitement about the very real possibility of being able to visit in the near-future, was largely successful. This has got to be one of sillier viral marketing efforts in recent years.

They found a meteorite and turned it into a shape of a Zinger

It was later sold on their online store for US$20,000, once again demonstrating that irreverent absurdity chimes well with modern consumers.

They released a romance novel, starring Col. Sanders, for Mother’s Day

KFC merchandise was generally pretty out there this year, helping the brand to attract further attention for their whimsical gimmicks. Beyond the meteorite burger, the brand released a series of pop art style t-shirts, framed photographs and even a romance novella, ‘Tender Wings of Desire’. While this isn’t an entirely new venture for KFC, who have previously released chicken scented candles, the brand’s unorthodox merchandise remains fairly unique for the fast food scene.

They developed a virtual reality game

In order to show how chicken was prepared in their shops. This hit on VR and transparency, while remaining fairly tongue-in-cheek, and was a winning combination which hit on major trends of the year.

The Easter egg hidden on KFC’s twitter

It’s unclear how long KFC was following six men named Herb and the Spice Girls, in a nod to their famous recipe of 11 secret herbs and spices. However, once it was noticed, this really hit the mark with the brand’s social media fan base for its subtlety. As a cherry on top, the chain then sent @edgette22, who was first to notice the joke, a gloriously gold-framed painting of Colonel Sanders carrying the fan on his shoulders.

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By GlobalData