Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2021 | |

How KFC’s #1 fan Mat Ayam charmed millions

Advertiser: QSR Stores Sdn Bhd
Brand: KFC
Creative Agency: Reprise
Credits: -


Objective & Challenge
With food & beverage competition and competitors coming up fast, business was affected. Hence, slow decline in visitations from December onwards, while the sharpest drop came from their heavy users which dropped by 1.2 points. It was crucial for the brand to arrest this decline and retain their core loyalists.This set the stage for a challenging and highly competitive first quarter with all Quick Service brands clamoring to woo consumers in a space where brand loyalty is almost absent.Our first objective is to increase brand share amongst teens & maintain brand share amongst young adults in Q1 2019.Secondly, to increase total base store visitations in Q1 2019 by +4%.

Insight & Strategy
KFC needed to approach this campaign differently. The marketplace was changing, audiences were shifting, and relevancy was fast eroding. It needed cultural relevance. There was one undeniable fact – Malaysians loved fried chicken (or “Kepci” as they affectionally called it). The brand was always in their hearts, but simply did not register in the consideration set. KFC had a winning product and currency that was unmistakably local. The only missing part of the puzzle was the emotional connection between KFC and its fickle audience. If there’s anything young adults love more than fried chicken – its celebrities. Their fascination and infatuation over the lives of the rich and famous encompassed all aspects of pop culture – music, fashion, movies. Our strategy is to create a targeted and authentic brand channel to engage with an audience who connect best with trend driven communication. Hence, we introduced, Mat Ayam Free, a KFC fanboy who jet fueled to fame and talkability by living on other celebrities’ Instagram pages, while shamelessly promoting KFC’s Colonel Month promotion

First, KFC found their #1 fan and plugged him into the world’s biggest celebrity universe: Instagram It was no secret that Instagram was a hugely popular medium amongst the target audience and was a key a platform for staying abreast with the latest in entertainment and pop culture world. KFC needed to ensure that Mat Ayam Free was the epicenter of that universe. He was not your conventional “influencer” – he was strikingly average yet charming. He mirrored the mass and did not uphold unattainable beauty standards so often touted by today’s influencers. Most importantly, he personified the brand’s key traits – downtoearth and original. A character who espoused KFC’s lovable jester spirit and likeability that would resonate with our target audience. So he photoshopped himself into the photos of influential celebrities and on his own pictureperfect “grammable” moments. Each of the celebrities were carefully curated for their influence in different pop culture cross sections like music, fashion and Malay entertainment.
• Ridduan TTFGA Ismail – Fashion and street photographer, renowned taste maker in the local fashion scene.
• Joe Flizzow – Rapper and music producer credited for putting Malaysian hiphop on the global map. Winner of the Best Southeast Asia Act Award at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2018.
• Zizan Razak – Film star who starred in multiple local box office hits and reality programs, including “KL Gangster”, the first Malaysianmade film to reach the collection point of USD3.3 million in local cinemas.
• Scha Alyahya – Malaysian model, actress and TV host who doubles up as an Instagram style icon. Crowned as Malaysia’s most stylish woman by Malaysia Tatler Magazine in 2018.
• Syafiq Kyle, Mira Filzah, Hael Husaini – Up and coming actors, regularly featured on the back pages of gossip columns and local entertainment blogs.
Through hijacking and tagging celebrities, Mat Ayam Free sent conversations to overdrive. The cookie cutter approach of paying influencers to write glowing (and often heavily scripted) reviews of KFC’s promotions would not work this time around. Instead of deploying dated tactics, KFC engineered each of the celebrities to reshare Mat Ayam Free’s images on their own feeds. This broadcasted Mat Ayam Free’s hijacks to an audience of 20.3 million followers, which was the accumulated fan base of all engaged influencers. And lastly, we placed Mat Ayam in Bintang Bersama Bintang, a local variety to show on TV3, and videobombed the live telecast holding a sign which read: ‘Aku dapat ayam free kat Kepci’ (I got free chicken at KFC). It was a bold plug for KFC’s Colonel’s Month promotion which broadcasted the soontobe viral star across 28 million television sets locally. Mat Ayam Free was in some way a walking advertisement for the brand, yet totally unbranded at the same time. It was subtle way of promoting KFC’s Colonel Month promotion without explicitly mentioning any ties to the brand.

Mat Ayam Free also become an overnight viral sensation. Mat Ayam Free’s account reached 2.5 million accounts with 6.6 million impressions. The engagement on his page was off the charts with a total of over 500K likes and 206K profile visits in the first 7 days of the campaign. KFC successfully increased brand share amongst teens (+4%) and young adults (+4%), exceeding the original targets by +2% and +1% respectively. During the same period, McDonalds lost teens while they levelled on young adults (0% growth). Total base store visitations increased by +12.6%, while McDonalds continued to see month on month decline of 2%