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 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? There’s a growing trend among football fans to follow specific athletes on social media platforms, driven by their desire for a closer connection with their favorite players. The audience exhibits various behaviors throughout the different stages of the game, such as conducting pre-match analysis and predictions, displaying intense emotions during heated moments (with 78% of football fans, particularly the Die-Hard, expressing negative sentiments towards the opposing team), and revisiting post-match highlights on sports video streaming platforms. And 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. Armed with these valuable insights, we recognized the need to adopt a bold and audacious approach to strengthen our relatability during the World Cup. Our goal was to go beyond the normal media buy by hijacking all crucial football moments online via engaging content and strategically positioned digital placements, ensuring KFC has high TOMA throughout the duration of the World Cup.

By utilizing real-time sports sync API, computer vision content classification, and mirror technology, we were able to identify significant football moments, such as game kick-off, end, half time, draws, yellow & red cards, and free kicks. Leveraging these technologies, we strategically hijacked competitor advertisements by deploying total 78 sets of dynamic creatives in multiple formats whenever these triggers were detected, ensuring contextual relevance to different audience segments. We categorized football event triggers into four distinct stages: Anticipation: Prior to the game, football fans, especially The Butterflies, typically engage in online research about teams or players. Leveraging sport-sync technology, we served them programmatic display ads with copy such as “Game On! Ignite the spirit for your favorite team with Spicy Cheese Crunch” on sports related websites to generate excitement when the trigger was identified. Participation: This stage involved real-time triggers such as tie at half-time, free kicks, yellow cards, and red cards when The Sports Fans and Die-Hards are emotionally invested in the matches. As social media becomes the outlet for their emotions during games, especially on META, we served them social ads featuring various KepciFC products like Spicy Cheese Burger and Dipidap Bucket when they post their IG stories or FB status, timed with the specific triggered moments. Celebration: This stage was activated when a goal was scored! By employing sport-sync and computer vision, we identified visual cues like trophies, players’ faces, or celebratory gestures on premium news sites featuring FIFA sports news. For the Die-Hards, we served Dipidap Bucket ads in the form of banner and in-image ad when their favorite team emerged victorious. Withdrawal: After the game ends, football fans, particularly The Butterflies who missed the live match, tend to rewatch video playbacks. Leveraging mirror technology, we targeted them on Youtube with Spicy Cheese Crunch ads when the video content contained FIFA logos, football objects, waving flags, and other relevant indicators. Additionally, our ads appeared in the YouTube sports content lineup, fostering a stronger association with football. Furthermore, we hijacked competitor ads whenever football related videos or articles displayed their logos or included burger-related keywords. The system further optimized all these multiple creatives across various formats to guarantee the delivery of the most impactful message that deeply connected with the audience.

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. The 78 sets of customised 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, effectively hijacking all TOMA from competitor. Most importantly, KFC obtained an impressive sale growth of 15% vs past year! All with smart hijacking!