I'm not sure what exactly has been going down in KFC's marketing department over the past year or so, but I do know I like it. Ever since the beginning of 2017 (is it just a coincidence that this also happens to be the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese calendar?), KFC have lost their mind in the best possible way.
There was the time they launched a Zinger sandwich into outer space, which ended rather sadly when the satellite holding the delicious chicken sandwich plummeted back to Earth (thankfully, the sandwich emerged unharmed). Mother's Day saw the release of Tender Wings of Desire, a pretty bonkers romance novella, while the fried chicken giants' most recent stunt was only discovered a few weeks ago.
Last month, Mike Edgette, a user with the Twitter handle @edgette22, realised that the KFC official Twitter account follows only 11 users on the social networking site. The five members of the Spice Girls, as well as six random dudes named Herb. 11 Herbs and Spices. Get it? Get it?!
The internet proceeded to lose their minds, and Edgette was propelled into internet stardom. The fleeting nature of online society meant that this smart cookie was only recognized for a few days, but the sleuthing skills on display here by @edgette22 were not ignored by KFC. Not one bit.
Now, if it were you or me who had my clever hidden gag revealed to the world by a random guy on Twitter, I'd probably send him a nice DM at best, or be petty and bitter at most. Not KFC though. In what's becoming typical fashion for the fried chicken aficionados, they managed to track down this random Twitter user and expressed their gratitude in the craziest way possible.
At some point last week, Edgette will have been surprised to hear a knock on the door. Answering the door gingerly, he would have been greeted by a mailman, who will have asked him to sign for a package. "Package?" Edgette would have probably replied in a bemused fashion. "I didn't order any package..."
The mailman would have then wheeled in a glorious portrait, this glorious portrait. No, your eyes are not deceiving you; that's a painting of Mike Edgette getting a piggyback from none other than Colonel Sanders himself. You can be sure that this painting went right up on Edgette's wall. Here's that painting up close, for your utter viewing pleasure.
Truly beautiful. The painting was said to be commissioned by Wieden+Kennedy, the same ad agency who come up with those hilarious Old Spice commercials, and it appears they've struck gold again here. Not only did Edgette receive the best portrait of all time, he also got a letter, signed by none other than Colonel Sanders himself.
Here's that letter in full:
It has come to my attention that I owe you a Kentucky Fried 'thank you'. You were the one who found the obscure message hidden in who I was following on Twitter. I wasn't sure if anyone in the world had the wits, skill and sheer determination to solve this puzzle I created. And you not only solved it, you went, as they say, 'viral' with it. So, from one refined yet still in-touch social media mogul to another: Well done.
You may not have noticed yet, but attached to this letter is a reasonably sized painting. This is a painting that I painted, with paint. And yet, it's somehow more than that. It's a metaphor. It's a tribute. It's a long-awaited payoff for those years of art classes I took from Lisa in Accounting's weird aunt. But above all, it's a thank you. A thank you for your service on the front lines of the internet, bringing people the web-based content they crave as much as my delicious chicken. Thank you, Mr. @edgette22. You're as crispy as they come. Enough chitchat — here are 52 gift cards, each worth $5. I'd tell you not to spend it all in one place, but, well, you know.
Buckets of Regards,
Colonel Harland Sanders."
Well, there you have it, guys. Dreams really do come true. Now, I want to find out another secret in the KFC Twitter account, so one day, I too can have a portrait of myself with Colonel Sanders hung up on my wall.