Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2023 | |

KFC Turned Themselves into a Football Club

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

Objective & Challenge
FIFA World Cup 2022. The most awaited sporting event the world-over! It was finally here, and sports obsessed Malaysians were ready for it! Brands were poised to jump on the bandwagon to ride the football wave. But how could you when not a global sponsor? For KFC, the challenge was even bigger – our biggest competitor WAS a sponsor, ready to take on eyeballs, hearts and tummies, as Malaysians shouted ‘goooooooooooaaaal’ along with their favourite teams. Some smart, strategic planning was called for, to comply with FIFA’s rules around sponsorship and brand hijacking. To bring the common love of fried chicken to the foreground. We looked to see how we could include KFC into every football celebratory occasion, suitable for every football fan, and to place the idea of the Colonel as top of mind throughout the month.

Insight & Strategy
Our insights told us that football is only as exciting as the pundits and commentators make it out to be. Our insights also showed us three types of football fans: 1. The Butterflies: those FOMOs who always want to be in the know 2. The Sports Fans: those who catch all the big games and are hungry to know the scores 3. The Die Hards: those who have a strong emotional engagement for their favourite football team. How do we capture the attention of these unique football fans into the game they love? We married together this diversity with the idea of a football pundit, and that’s how ‘Pak Pandit’ was born – an eccentric, affable, knowledgeable uncle-like character with a penchant for all things football, and all things KFC as well, of course! Pak Pandit would become the face of football, bringing together predictions, football scores, strategies and highlights, all done in his own unique style – think football dialect and lingo and all things fried chicken. His name – a play on words of folktale character Pak Pandir would speak to Malaysians. The sales hook: 3 hero products to appeal to the 3 types of football fans: Firstly, Spicy Cheese Crunch for “The Butterflies” to indulge in taste while not missing out. Secondly, the Spicy Cheese Burger for “The Sport Fans” as the pre-packed configurations to make games catch ups convenient and hassle free. Thirdly, the Dipidap Bucket, perfect nibbles for “The Die-hard Fans” who host parties at home. To further enhance World Cup relatability, our approach was bold and daring – going beyond by hijacking all crucial football moments online via engaging content and strategically positioned digital placements, ensuring KFC had high TOMA throughout the World Cup duration.

All this would happen within “Kepci FC”, a Malaysian based fandom hosted by Pak Pandit. Haniff, the ERA drivetime DJ was chosen to portray Pak Pandit due to his charisma, genuine football passion, and authentic love for KFC. His fluency in BM and English amplified his ability to flawlessly embody Pak Pandit’s traits. Exciting fans with his warm character, Haniff brought Pak Pandit to life across 360 touchpoints in partnership with Astro, matching the World Cup’s immense scale. Firstly, Pak Pandit posted daily videos with personalized, unsolicited comments about matches on various social platforms (his IG, ERA’s IG, Gempak’s TikTok, Astro Arena’s FB, and MeleTOP’s Twitter). He tailored 24 videos for different audience segments, including match highlights for The Butterflies with Spicy Cheese Crunch, match forecasts for The Sports Fans with Spicy Cheese Burger, and detailed yet quirky match reviews to remind The Diehard Fans to grab nuggets from Dipidap Bucket. Twitter KOLs were engaged to enhance Pak Pandit’s relatability through humorous interactions and friendly banter. Identifying key football moments on digital platforms (e.g., game kickoff, end, half time, draws, yellow & red cards, and free kicks), we deployed dynamic creatives in multiple formats to ensure contextual relevance for various audience segments. Using realtime sports sync API, we served ad visuals featuring Spicy Cheese Burger with dynamic messaging to The Sports Fans on Display & Social platforms, generating prematch excitement when a game kicked off. Additionally, we utilized computer vision and mirror technology to hijack competitor ads on platforms like YouTube and news/sports sites, displaying video and inimage ads when their logos or products were detected. Catering to nondigital natives, Pak Pandit hijacked the sizzling Astro TV talkshow Hlive, engaging in delightful banter with his distinctive forecast. He seamlessly integrated his passion for football and KFC by enjoying the KepciFC Combo alongside the hosts. He made surprise appearances during clockface countdowns to key prime time TV programs on Astro’s Malay channels. His videos on social were also converted as TV branded capsules, running across Astro Malay and Sports Channels throughout the campaign period. Ensuring Pak Pandit’s hilarious commentary was extended beyond social to broader TV audiences. To extend his radio footprint, we customized sports news segment on ERA & Hitz, so Pak Pandit could give his forecasts and unique match opinions with KepciFC product messaging during morning and evening timebelts. And fellow DJs Radin and Ray joined in to LIVE KepciFC, with product reviews on air, shared across their socials. Pak Pandit also attended on ground events through World Cup viewing parties at KFC stores, with a Finals live viewing party hosted by Astro ERA SyokVaganza, giving his lively forecast to 10k fans to reinforce his status as Malaysia’s favourite football pundit.

Overall we saw positive uplift across YouGov metrics. During world cup period: Ad awareness increased by 4pts while consideration increased by 4.5pts, Purchase intent increased by 3.6x. Recommendation score & Brand Index increased by +6pts & 6.5pts respectively after the campaign. Pak Pandit videos recorded 1,001,088 views on Astro’s social media (82% more views than planned). Haniff’s IG Story reached additional 7,517 NEW unique accounts. The 78 sets of customized KFC creatives celebrated live football moments with 24 million eyeballs throughout the FIFA season! Achieved 20% lower in overall CPM and 2% higher CTR than sport sync benchmark. Impressively, KFC sales obtained 15% growth vs past year! All with smart hijacking!