Believers say the chain’s Japanese nickname is a deep-fried charm of protection.

KFC is one of Japan’s favorite fast food chains, and so there’s always a lot of online buzz when they release a new menu item or offer a deep discount. So ordinarily it wouldn’t have been too shocking to see “Kentucky,” as fans in Japan call KFC, trending on Japanese Twitter, like it was earlier this week.

▼ “Kentucky” (ケンタッキー), hitting the number-one trending rank on Monday

So what was causing all the KFC-related tweets? Was the chain bringing back its delicious tsukimi moon-viewing fried chicken sandwiches? Offering all-you-can eat deals again? Or were people just discussing their upcoming holiday season plans, since no Christmas party is complete in Japan without fried chicken?

Nope. Japanese Twitter users couldn’t stop talking about KFC because of a theory that doing so will keep them from seeing unwanted ads.

The ball got started a day earlier, when Twitter user @1990sshounen offered a piece of advice. Since Twitter shows you ads in your timeline, and it tries to match the content of those ads to things it thinks you’re interested in, @1990sshounen said that by tweeting the word “Kentucky,” you’ll have a greater chance of being shown ads for KFC, and as a result ads for other things that you don’t want to see will be pushed out of your timeline.

The strategy seems plausible, and got enough other Twitter users talking about KFC to push it to the top of the trending list, with comments like:

“So the word ‘Kentucky’ is like a magic incantation.”
“Gonna have to try this trick out.”
“If nothing else, this is making me crave Kentucky.”
“All this Kentucky talk has me crazy hungry.”

Even the KFC Japan official Twitter account got in on the trend, with a single-word “Kentucky” tweet.

With the inner workings of Twitter’s ad-selecting algorithm a closely guarded trade secret, there’s no way to conclusively prove the technique’s effectiveness, but users seem to have faith in it. And while most people’s ideal would be to not be shown any ads at all, compared to being slapped in the face with ads for dating services, dietary supplements, or various other sketchy products, seeing a bunch of fried chicken photos doesn’t sound half bad.

Source: Twitter/@KFC_jp via IT Media
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