Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2013 | |

‘Viral’ Outbreak Containment by Operation S.O.A.P

Advertiser: QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd
Brand: KFC Malaysia
Creative Agency: Reprise Media
Credits: Reprise Media / Universal McCann — Ullas Sahadevan (Director, Performance Marketing), Wilson Chin (Solutions Architect, Performance Marketing), Mike Hutany (Performance Marketing Specialist) / Universal McCann (UM) — Rina Low (Business Director) / QSR Brands (M) Holdings Sdn Bhd — Kelvin Hong (General Manager), KFC Marketing

KFC faced big backlash and negative publicity following an outlet incident where a KFC staff punched a customer. Negative references were flooding the ‘web o sphere’ and a quick fire strategy was needed to Contain and Neutralize this by highlighting positive actions KFC had taken to remedy this unfortunate situation.

Search became the first port of call to neutralize and contain this ‘viral outbreak’. We unleashed operation S.O.A.P >

  1. To deflect ‘Strangers’; people unaware of the incident to be influenced
  2. To convince ‘Onlookers’; who were eagerly following latest updates
  3. To convert the ‘Activists’ who thought KFC wasn’t doing enough and finally
  4. To stop the ‘Propagators’ from further spreading the negativity by posting and viraling it on social media, blogs, and websites.

Targeting and influencing 4 different audiences, our ‘key word’ and copy strategy made sure that our ads occupied top space on Search engines drowning the negative references about the incident when people searched for KFC brand terms or the incident. Our strategic search ad placements intercepted and neutralized negative searches upfront and redirected clicks to a page that contained KFC’s statement & apology, showcasing that KFC had officially addressed the incident prevented negativity from spreading.

Operation S.O.A.P helped contain and propagate the positive steps KFC had taken as a brand to address the incident. 5.5 Million searches were neutralized. Sales and transactions in restaurants went up by 19.8% and 15.4% respectively. KFC brand equity was smartly reinstated, preventing the brand sentiment from spiraling down.