KFC'S COLONEL KI: THE FIRST COLONEL TO CONQUER E-SPORTS

Short List
TitleKFC'S COLONEL KI: THE FIRST COLONEL TO CONQUER E-SPORTS
BrandYUM CHINA
Product / ServiceKFC
CategoryE04. Real-time Response
EntrantMINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Idea Creation MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Media Placement MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Production MINDSHARE CHINA Shanghai, CHINA
Production 2 RIOT GAMES Shanghai, CHINA
Production 3 PENTAQ Shanghai, CHINA

Credits

Name Company Position
Lynn Zhang Yum! China Director
Clare Zhang Yum! China Director
Jetty Zhu Yum! China Manager
Bolin Wang Mindshare Managing Director
Carey Wang Mindshare General Manager
Yi Liu Mindshare Partner
Stanley Tao Mindshare Partner
Erika Lin Mindshare Director
Kathy Ren Mindshare Manager
Jessia Zhu Mindshare Supervisor
Phil So Riot Games Head of BD
Yue Wang Tencent IEG Head of BD
Xi Qing PentaQ CEO

Background

KFC has made the gamer community a core pillar of its communications in China since 2015. Four years on, gaming has become a serious sport in China. ▪ Valued at US$1.25 billion in 2018 ▪ Projected to grow to US$3 billion by 2020 ▪ 24% YoY growth rate for audiences aged 16 to 30 (Sources: CCTV and China National Resident Survey) With gaming getting more serious, KFC needed to move away from the side-lines of sponsorship and into deeper engagement with gamers. Objective: Don’t be just a spectator, instead become part of the game by making KFC an integral part of League of Legends, the world’s most popular e-Sport game with roughly 111 million players in China alone (Source: Laoyuegou).

Describe the creative idea

Gamers like their numbers. Win ratios. Gold collected. Magic stats. Health stats. Attack damage. Enter Colonel KI (KFC-AI) – KFC’s AI algorithm for predicting League of Legend winners. Giving fans this new capability was the only way for KFC to be truly integral to the gaming experience; the Colonel was the perfect persona to deliver this to fans. KFC created an algorithm based on all historical data and real- time data for each team. The algorithm in the form of Colonel KI was capable of giving out real-time predictions on who would win a match based on game stats. The AI predictor proved to be so accurate that fans went crazy for it, essentially becoming the League of Legends’ “Paul the Octopus”.

Describe the strategy

e-Sports games like League of Legends have more numbers than a typical game of football or basketball. But with all these numbers churned out in real time, fans and sports commentators often still rely on general gut feel and sheer excitement to anticipate who will win a match. In e-Sports, real-time performance data is vital for gamers and audiences alike to truly understand the current situation. No typical fan has the time to do predictive probability calculations while watching a game that has four or five things happening simultaneously. It is often the person next to you in the crowd, the friend you are watching with online or the commentator of the day who influences which team you believe will win. KFC saw the lack of winner predictions as its biggest opportunity to address an unmet need with the potential to significantly elevate fans’ gaming experiences.

Describe the execution

Colonel KI’s predictions were featured on the actual screen during the game, with a Colonel KI graph at the bottom of the screen showing win rates that updated in real-time. During the most exciting moments of the game, Colonel KI also served as a warm-hearted cheerleader and distributed KFC coupons to fans. Whilst League of Legends is played in a desktop environment, gamers spend all their remaining time analysing the game, catching up on game news, and socializing about the game on their mobile phones. So we created a HTML 5 version of Colonel KI's winning predictions. This was housed in KFC’s mobile app, allowing fans and gamers to access live game data, track real-time predictions throughout the match, and check out mobile-exclusive data on what was going on what was going on in the arena, down to the most micro of stats. We created mobile-only coupons for hungry gamers.

List the results

By creating Colonel KI as the League of Legends icon with the most accurate real-time winning predictions available, KFC was able to cement its position as the Most Valuable Player, gaining widespread buzz for its first-of-its-kind innovation. KFC gained 70 minutes of brand exposure per day, bringing the brand to over 203 million (peak number) viewers of the League of Legends livestreams. More than 1.9 million on-screen comments specific to KFC were generated. Mobile performance exceeded expectations: Within 19 match days, we had harvested a total of 540,000-page views for the KFC app On Weibo, one of China’s biggest social media platforms, KFC topic views reached 35 million organically, beating out dominant news on A-listers. Our views were 2x more than the most viewed Weibo topic from 2018’s World Cup brand sponsors! Colonel KI created an epic cooperation that made gamers, fans and League of Legends all winners!

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