KFC teamed up with the virtual boy band Luxiem for their latest “national collaboration”, tapping into the huge popularity of anime, comics and games among China’s Gen Z.
KFC’s official account on the microblogging site Weibo posted daily in the week running up to the event launch on February 27th, teasing Luxiem-themed stores in limited locations as well as collectible holographic foil cards, one for each member of the group. Other promotional material showed limited edition ice cream sundae flavours inspired by each Luxiem band member available at in-store dessert stations.
The hashtag “KFCLuxiem” has now garnered almost 20 million views in the week since emerging on Weibo, attesting to the interest generated by virtual YouTubers. Anxious to know whether themed stores would be showing up in their cities, Luxiem fans flocked to the comments section of posts teasing the launch, with one netizen commenting “give the 18th tier small cities a chance!”. Some netizens participated in the event by posting their own selfies at themed stores under the hashtag.
Virtual YouTubers, also known as VTubers, are online entertainers that perform under the guise of digital avatars, which often take the form of manga-style characters. They perform and interact with fans via YouTube, Twitch, Douyin, and Bilibili.
Having debuted in December 2021, Luxiem is the first all-male VTuber group launched by NIJISANJI Project, one of the first dedicated VTuber agencies which began in Japan in 2018. NIJISANJI Project first targeted Japanese audiences but has since expanded to overseas markets, launching their English-language branch NIJISANJI EN in 2021.
Falling under NIJISANJI EN, Luxiem consists of five group members with 2D digital avatars. The group’s music is released on their dedicated YouTube channel and the members also interact with fans via individual twitter accounts. Their second single, released on June 24th 2022, is the channel’s most watched video at 14 million views.