KFC’s Colonel Sanders plays set at Miami EDM festival
Colonel Sanders, the founder and mascot of global fried chicken franchise KFC, played a sponsored set at major electronic music festival Ultra in Miami this weekend.
‘Sanders’ performed at the event as a Deadmau5-esque balloon-headed DJ, alongside EDM megastars such as David Guetta and Marshmello.
The tie-in could offer some clues as to the future of partnerships for brands trying to find space in an increasingly competitive youth market. Events such as Ultra now hold some of the weight for younger consumers that prestige happenings like the Super Bowl have for Gen Xers, and brands have been experimenting with new methods of reaching this market for some time.
But Sanders’ set received a mixed response from both partygoers and other DJs.
A clip of the event, included below, appears to show a broadly disinterested crowd greeting the daytime appearance.
Meanwhile DJs took to Twitter to give their own opinions, with Marshmello writing in a since-deleted tweet: “I can think of a lot of other artists that actually deserve to be on that stage instead.”
Youth music is a notoriously tough market to penetrate, with fans wary of tie-ins that appear forced or inauthentic.
But brands have had some success in even the most niche areas of underground music, as seen in partnerships such as Havana Cultura and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide, and Ray Bans and UK streaming platform Boiler Room.