Little fingers give KFC a new emotional direction

A play on the restaurant's "Finger Lickin' Good" evolves its ongoing food story.

KFC Canada is aiming for an emotional connection with consumers, launching a new spot that plays with its iconic “Finger Lickin’ Good” tagline.

The new TV ad by Grip follows a dad as he works at a theatre and raises his daughter, who is a budding pianist. Over the years, as he picks her up for practice, she brings along a bucket of KFC chicken for her dad (a note on top reads “for your tired fingers”). Years later, as an adult, she plays a concert at the theatre her father worked at and a bucket of KFC with the same note is waiting for her in her dressing room.

Beverley D’Cruz, marketing director for KFC at Yum! Brands Canada, says KFC has been on an internal journey dubbed “The Colonel’s Way,” inspired by the work the chain’s founder put into hand-breading and cooking his signature chicken. Besides continuing on a long-standing brand message of how a KFC meal brings people together, the spot also attempts to draw a parallel between the hard work that goes into becoming a musician and the work the QSR puts into making its chicken.

“A lot of hard work went into what he did, and we want to show that is still what happens in our restaurants,” D’Cruz says. “Part of that from an internal perspective has been retraining all of our cooks. That’s been a long process, but an important one because we wanted to make sure everyone remembered what they need to do and how to do it, just like the Colonel did. This ad is the more emotional, consumer-facing expression of that.”

D’Cruz says the new spot fits in with a larger effort around telling KFC’s “Food Story,” which began in the fall with a campaign that spotlighted the farms it sources its food from. It will be continuing later this month with a cooking school that brings consumers into its kitchens to see first-hand the work that goes into its chicken. While the focus and approaches vary, D’Cruz says they are all moving towards the same goal.

“The theatre ad is more emotional, but there’s always the functional, real part of things,” she says. “This ad is an emotional expression of what we do in the restaurants. What you see in the cooking school is the very functional part of that same campaign. We’ve talked about the beauty of what we do in mass channels, now let’s bring it to life for you and prove it through these experiences.”