Ogilvy

KFC
"Secret Menu"

Client: KFC
Product: Fast Food
Title: Secret Menu
Media: Owned and Earned
Country: Australia
Date Of Campaign: 18 March 2019 – 31 August 2019

Background: In an increasingly competitive market, KFC needed to drive up acquisitions and usage for its mobile app. There is an established formula used by Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to recruit app users – bribe them with freebies and epic discounts. But we realised the ‘success’ of this strategy was not what it seemed. While acquisition campaigns that feature a ‘carrot’ (e.g. free food) are initially effective, they are also costly to run, and encourage ‘gaming’ behaviour (ie. claiming freebies on the app, then deleting it). As every QSR uses this tactic, it invariably leads to a race to the bottom.This isn’t just expensive, it’s ineffective. Just 23% of all users keep an app within the first three days after download, meaning most app acquisition campaigns never generate a positive ROI. Our challenge was to get consumers to engage with the KFC App – without falling into this trap.

Idea: Instead of offering costly freebies, we used the magnetism of offers that were completely unknown and hard to find. We had discovered that KFC staff love ‘hacking’ the menu to create crazy new products. So we hid their creations in a Secret Menu deep within the KFC App.And told no one about it.Instead of launching with a big campaign, we just waited. And waited.

Results: It all paid off when an excited customer finally cracked it one month later and shared their discovery on social media. The news spread like wildfire, resulting in mass coverage across some of Australia’s biggest online news outlets.By going against every UX principle and adding friction to the app customer journey, we just made people more obsessed with finding and sharing the Secret Menu.Best of all? Every time we update the Secret Menu, we reignite the conversation and keep the KFC App on newsfeeds and front pages everywhere. This means we’re attracting new app users and re-engaging existing ones all year round – all without spending a cent on media.

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