VMLY&R creates ‘Kentucky Town’ to kick off KFC Malaysia’s 50th birthday celebrations

Global brand and customer experience agency VMLY&R was tasked with redefining KFC Malaysia’s brand proposition, in conjunction with its 50th Anniversary in 2023. This led to creating the exciting immersive experience ‘Kentucky Town’, with a series of additional events expected through the rest of the year.

As well as commemorating KFC Malaysia’s golden jubilee, Kentucky Town also coincided with

International Fried Chicken Day on 6th July and was planned in the run-up to International Friendship Day on 30th July. Located at the Sunway Pyramid blue concourse in Kuala Lumpur, Kentucky Town captivated visitors from 4th -10th July 2023. In partnership with KFC, VMLY&R planned and executed on-ground activations and communications around the event.

There was a secret KFC menu that could only be found in Kentucky Town, including mouth-watering items like Savours Cracklin’ Gold Crunch, Korean Cheesy paper wrap, Samyang Buldak Double Down, and more. To pay homage to the history of KFC while enticing the Gen-Zs, the brand collaborated with Malaysia’s cartoonist legend Ujang, and Pestle and Mortar, a popular, hype Malaysia streetwear brand to produce a curated a streetwear collection called Aku Budak Kepci.

Using VMLY&R’s proprietary Intel Lab to gather data on KFC Malaysia’s next generation of consumers, the agency focused on insight that Gen Z strongly values genuine connections, friendships and trendy experiences that allow them to feel part of the group.

Additionally with the fear of missing out, it presented the opportunity to relate KFC’s brand proposition of always original. By tapping into youth subcultures (art, food, fashion, music tech and sports) VMLY&R and KFC were able to engage with Gen-Z by leveraging themes of friendship and belonging.

Based on these insights, Kentucky Town included numerous immersive and innovative activities including an AR (augmented reality) Friendship Tunnel, a Friendship Mirror smart mirror to virtually try-on the limited-edition merchandise, a Friendship Tub photo space, and Kentucky Town Cooks motion capture game. Friendship-themed games were also hosted daily, and International Fried Chicken Day saw whole chicken giveaways all day.

By tapping into relevant subcultures, plus leveraging innovative technologies and multiple touchpoints, Kentucky Town resonated with its audience, attracting over 26,000 onsite visitors, and over 10,000 sales of secret menu and merchandise. The secret menu was so well-received that many items ran out and had to be restocked.

KFC Kentucky Town’s recent debut proved a success, exceeding all expectations. The event outperformed projected KPIs and was enthusiastically received by essential stakeholders within parent company QSR Brands Berhad. As a result, KFC, in collaboration with VMLY&R, is poised to introduce an exciting array of new locations across Kuala Lumpur in the coming months.

“Unforgettable experiences are at the heart of Kentucky Town, with every aspect thoughtfully curated to leave a lasting impression on visitors. KFC aims to create an enduring memory that will entice them to return, time and again, for the exceptional dining experience the brand is known for,” Premnath Unnikrishnan, Chief Marketing Officer of KFC Malaysia.

“We know that the youth need to experience and feel – to form a bond with the brand therefore we made their town, Kentucky Town a completely multi-sensorial activation, bringing many activities together for an ultimate experience.

Super fresh, exciting work, and a fantastic collaboration with our client in bringing to life an end-to-end Brand and Customer Experience with youth at its heart!” Sean Lim, Head of Brand Experiential and Activation, VMLY&R Malaysia.

Campaign Credits

Sean Lim, Head of Brand Activation & Experiential
Yippie Yip, Business Director
Ross Leong, Activation Director
Bong Kim Loong, Account Director
Eleena Zakie, Senior Account Manager
Filipe Lampreia, Chief Strategic Officer
Dwayne Chin, Associate Planning Director
Didi Pirinyuang, Chief Creative Officer
Phoecus Lee, Executive Creative Director
Cavan Ang, Senior Copywriter
Hannah Sim, Senior Copywriter
Christian Chiang, Senior Art Director
Sharul Shazuan, Junior Art Director
Khoo Quan Mae, Designer
Chew Saiwin, Senior AV Producer
Loo Juobey, Senior Designer
Vivian Phang, Designer

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