Some agencies think sneaking ads into Spotify is a hot new marketing strategy

KFC partnered with artists to find a sneaky back-door way to inject sponsored content into ad-free Spotify Premium.


February 6, 2020

KFC recently commandeered the profiles of several popular Middle Eastern musical artists to launch its new Kentucky Burger in Middle Eastern markets.

As a part of the marketing stunt, the company replaced the artists’ photos with new pictures featuring Kentucky Burger promotions. And the commerce-crazed Colonel didn’t stop there… 

KFC also changed the names of the artists’ songs so that their playlists looked like poems from the fiery deep fryers of hell. 

One playlist looked like this:

  • “Discover” 
  • “New” 
  • “Kentucky” 
  • “Burger” 
  • “Come & Visit” 
  • “KFC” 
  • “Get It” 
  • “Before It’s Too Late”

Spotify Premium payers aren’t pleased…

After all, they paid extra for a premium product that explicitly claims NOT to have any ads.

Much like when The North Face gamed Wikipedia, the ad agency responsible for the stunt — in this case, Memac Ogilvy & Mather — claimed a huge win. 

But the stunt also caused people on Twitter to lose their appetites.

And KFC wasn’t the first to screw with listeners, either

In the past, activists have partnered with artists to spread their messages, and other brands like Chipotle have also tried similar stunts.

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