KFC believes the Double Down’s reputation precedes it

After ten years, the QSR is bringing its no-bread sandwich by letting the product speak for itself.

Double Down Image

KFC is flipping the script on the super-competitive chicken sandwich category by bringing in a ringer: the Double Down, which will be available in Canada for the first time in a decade.

The QSR first teased the return of its bun-less sandwich by hijacking the “#IYKYK” hashtag (“If you know, you know”), and is now using simple, straightforward TV, OOH and digital messaging to generate interest in the limited time return, available nationwide until Nov. 7. Videos in the campaign are short, focusing on the most recognizeable characteristics – “0% buns” – and juicy photography. Oversized OOH billboards simply read “Double Down is back.”


First launched in 2010, the KFC Double Down quickly became infamous for the novelty of replacing the bread on a sandwich with fried chicken, arguably kicking off a wave of menu innovations at QSRs that leaned into indulgence.

“It’s such an incredible iconic product and it looks amazing. It sort of speaks for itself, and we didn’t want to overdo it and overcomplicate things,” according to Ira Dubinsky, marketing director for KFC Canada. He tells strategy that in the creative it’s really about letting the sandwich be the hero, highlighted by incredible food photography to let it shine through.

The Double Down, Dubinsky says, was the number one product KFC fans wanted to bring back.

“We thought a fun way to do that would be to have not just a regular campaign, but also a bit of a tease, and make the product available before it’s official launch,” Dubinsky says. “Some people figured it out right away, and got really excited.”


Double Down OOH

According to Dubinsky, LTOs are an incredibly strong part of KFC’s business in terms of generating interest and getting people to sit up and take notice.

Nowadays, there are so many ways for consumers to connect with brands they care about, and Dubinsky says KFC believes in flexing muscles across different media touchpoints, including OOH and other platforms, likening the strategy to a graphic equalizer to fine tune sound quality.

KFC launched a bacon topped chicken lovers sandwich earlier this year, and according to Dubinsky the LTO was “phenomenally successful,” reflecting a broad appetite for crave-worthy products. That launch, he says, was a precursor of sorts, giving the QSR the confidence that the Double Down would be similarly received.

For the current campaign, while offering no ad spend specifics, Dubinsky says the QSR made a “significant investment” for an “important launch.”

John St. once again handled creative duties, with Wavemaker on media and Narrative the PR.