KFC delivers a tasty proposition

From delivery to reaching smaller groups, how a new value meal-focused ad reflects the QSR's plans for the year ahead.

KFC Canada has a new campaign to kick off the new year and help the QSR stand out in a competitive category.

In the ad below, neighbours in a dorm stare at each other from across the hall. And while one seems pretty proud about having a beautiful girl on his arm, the other is just as satisfied with having a KFC delivery guy on his, and some chicken in hand.

The ad is promoting the “$10 Chick’n Share” meal option, which allows customers to choose from six pieces of Original Recipe chicken, Popcorn Chicken, or four chicken tenders and Popcorn Chicken. The campaign runs until mid-February across TV, digital and social channels. Grip created the ad, with Wavemaker on media.

While the spot seems like a simple, lighthearted way to promote a value-oriented meal option, Stephen Scarrow, senior marketing manager for KFC Canada, says the ad manages to reflect a number of strategic priorities for the QSR.

First, promoting a $10 meal option is particularly relevant to consumers who might be more cost-conscious following the holiday season. But it also reflects the fact that consumer tastes are trending more towards boneless chicken options, as well as the fact that the “two-person” meal occasion is growing in popularity among QSRs. It’s a trend that is even being seen at KFC, which might be more typically associated with its family-sized bucket.

“The dinner out for four is changing,” Scarrow says. “If you look at the data, the party size is shrinking. For KFC, the average is around 2.3 people. An offer like this strikes a chord of value and creates an easy way for people to access the brand, and it’s relevant to the couples out there that are just wanting a meal without having to order a family feast.”

Scarrow also points out that the ad actually shows people eating the chicken, which triggers a “craving” for KFC’s signature chicken. That creative treatment might not seem revolutionary for a QSR, but it’s something the brand has not purposely done in recent ads, he says.

KFC’s more attention-grabbing work in the last few years has been social- and digital-led projects that have been tongue-in-cheek and more about the KFC brand than its actual products. These have ranged from the “Bitcoin Bucket” to creating a merchandise store to making a chicken bucket that takes photos of friends and family.

“The work we do across TV is going to be a retail message supporting the news or the innovation or the value proposition that we have at the time,” Scarrow says. “There are other things that we always aspire to do that are more about building a brand over time, as opposed to building sales overnight that we need to do at retail.”

Another priority is an emphasis on delivery and digital ordering options, which is also reflected in the ad. A delivery driver is pulled into the scene at one point, and consumers are encouraged to visit KFC.ca to order ahead or request delivery.

Startups like Foodora and UberEats have driven demand for more delivery options, while KFC’s QSR competitors, like McDonald’s, have made new delivery options a cornerstone in recent communications and marketing. Scarrow says KFC has offered delivery in many areas of Canada for decades, recently partnered with SkipTheDishes to offer more delivery options, and redesigned KFC’s website to offer other options, such as ordering ahead for pickup. Those kinds of offerings are going to be the subject of an upcoming, national out-of-home campaign.

“The idea of accessing KFC restaurants by way of delivery is something we’ve been doing for some time, but the awareness of that fact has been pretty marginal,” Scarrow says. “A lot of other restaurants have been creating headlines around delivery and partnerships. We have been intentionally growing and investing in delivery… Our offering tends to skew more towards dinner, which works nicely for delivery. But we can’t assume that updating a website is going to move the needle, I think we need to be more thoughtful and purposeful in creating those associations.”