Product: Fast Food
Title: Michelin Impossible
Media: Key Media Channel - Social
Date Of Campaign: 17th June 2019 – 12th July 2019
Background: When KFC had previously tried to tell people their food was good quality, no one believed it. So instead of telling them again, we created a massive publicity stunt to get Australians reconsidering the quality of KFCs food.We developed a story that was made to be experienced; in social, on the news, in conversation and debate. The story? That Kentucky Fried Chicken deserved a Michelin Star. This audacious mission to win a Michelin Star embroiled millions of people in the debate, leading to massive global coverage and improved perceptions of KFC’s quality.Background:Despite being known for making great-tasting fried chicken, KFC Australia has consistently battled perceptions of low food quality. Consumers gave KFC credit for making delicious food, but not necessarily for making good quality food. The campaign objectives were: 1. REACH as many Australians as possible: Achieve 51 pieces of local media coverage with 21 million+ impressions. 2. CHANGE PERCEPTIONS about KFC’s food quality: Achieve a score of 50% of respondents agreeing with the following statements, post the campaign: • “it improved my perceptions of the quality of KFC’s food” • “it makes me feel better about eating KFC” • “it makes me crave the food more” 3. INCREASE SALES during the campaign period: The category was growing at 3.7%, and we wanted to outstrip it.
Idea: We gave KFC's most isolated and remote store owner a mission to get Kentucky Fried Chicken the ultimate symbol of food quality: a Michelin Star. There’s no higher accolade of quality in the food world than getting a Michelin Star. But Michelin hasn’t placed Australia on its culinary map yet, let alone any mainstream fast food chain. The idea wasn’t actually about getting KFC a Michelin Star, but getting credit for making quality fried chicken - by associating ourselves with the well-known culinary prestige and status of the Michelin Guide. But we needed to do this in a way that was credible. So we developed a believable narrative and recruited Sam Edelman, an incredibly charismatic KFC store owner that Australia would want to get behind. Because every Aussie loves an underdog story. You've seen Crocodile Dundee, right? Independent research identified that simply reminding people that the letters KFC stood for ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ immediately improved perceptions of food quality. By referring to KFC’s chicken as Kentucky Fried Chicken, it conjured up notions of “care”, “authenticity” and “expertise”. So the team needed to find a credible way to get this new (but old) brand name out there. Yet a traditional campaign that just told people that KFC is short for Kentucky Fried Chicken was going to be a bit banal, and potentially KFC just talking to itself. We needed to do something crazy enough that Aussies would actually take notice of. So the campaign’s bold strategy was to ditch traditional advertising, and instead associate KFC with an independent symbol of food quality – the Michelin Guide – leveraging its credibility and influence to get Kentucky Fried Chicken the quality kudos it deserved.We devised a carefully crafted narrative coupled with meticulously planned comms, earned media strategies, and back-up plans, to ensure our mission would be accepted and embraced by the Australian public. Authenticity was crucial. So even though the initial content was scripted and shot weeks before launch, the mission played out in real-time via a Facebook Group that appeared set-up by our KFC store owner, Sam. We prepared dozens of potential narratives for Sam, along with contingency plans, including: what would happen if Sam knocked on the doors of Michelin HQ in Paris, uninvited? After a global swell of support for Sam we did exactly that, scoring a highly unlikely meeting with the International Director of Michelin Guide. This sounds too good to be true. But we'd actually planned for this (and many other possibilities) and had a crew ready to capture the moment in Paris.
Results: 1. REACHED as many Australians as possible: The campaign generated:• 564 pieces of media coverage (target: 51) • 662,545,320 impressions (target: 21,255,000) The global audience increased our results to 724 pieces of media, with a reach of 850 million impressions. 2. CHANGE PERCEPTIONS about KFC’s food quality: Post-campaign research showed increased positive perceptions about our food quality above our KPI of 50%: • 65% agreed “it improved my perceptions of the quality of KFC’s food • 59% agreed “it makes me feel better about eating KFC” • 68% agreed “it makes me crave the food more” 3: SALES• Sales growth of 7.6% (category growth was 3.7%)