KFC, the QSR chain, has taken its campaign to tackle negative perceptions of the brand – focusing on its taste compared to the numerous copycat brands on the UK high street – into cinemas.
The brand’s Chicken Town campaign first rolled out in March this year, with an emphasis on TV and OOH media, since KFC has explored other avenues that could offer incremental reach.
Jack Hinchliffe, KFC’s UK and Ireland marketing director, was persuaded by recent research by DCM, in which two-thirds of the brand’s target audience of 16- to 34-year-olds agreed they “pay more attention to ads in cinema than elsewhere”.
“The environment is a bubble,” he said at the recent DCM Cinema Media Showcase in London.
“The more that we spoke with our media partners, we began to understand that […] people respond differently to advertising in a cinema environment.”
The challenge, then, was to create content that would be even more relevant to the audience based on the situation that they were in.
KFC settled on the idea of running its 60-second ‘Chicken Town’ commercial in full (“it plays out nicely on the big screen”), followed by a 20-second piece of tailored content, and concluding with an end-card directing viewers to their nearest outlet.
For the “contextual” section, the brand settled on a “common belief” between brand and media owner that the “original is always the best”.
“That’s what our ‘Chicken Town’ work is really about, and it’s what the cinema experience is about as well,” said Hinchliffe.
“People are in the audience because they know that cinema is offering an experience that they can’t get anywhere else. They’re willing to pay for that experience,” he said.
A series of spoofs has been created in which the impression is given that the main feature has begun – only to reveal a humorous, low-budget interpretation, inspired by imitation fan content.
While it’s still too early for him to comment on results – the cinema activity only began in June – Hinchliffe is sure it’s the right approach.
“Why not do something that takes the idea further, that’s more entertaining, that will drive more attention, create a stronger memory structure, and do something that really the audience will respond to. That’s what we sought to do.”
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