Product / ServiceKFC
CategoryF04. Social Behaviour & Cultural Insight
Idea Creation EDELMAN Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Media Placement MEDIACOM Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production EDELMAN Sydney, AUSTRALIA


Name Company Position
Jamil Bhatti Edelman Creative Director
Marcel Bingham Edelman Art Director
Lisa Jackson Edelman Copywriter
Jilvan Mohammadi Edelman Videographer
Laura Cario Edelman Associate Director
Jasmin Malam Edelman Agency Producer
Scarlett Templeman Edelman Account Director
Ian Shying Edelman Design Director

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Building a corporate reputation in QSR comes with additional complexity of being in a category that many people love to hate. Even more so when building a social impact program. The danger of coming off as disingenuous, inauthentic or self-serving is high, and trolls lurk around every corner waiting to score cheap points in social. Rooting our program in earned was critical to succeeding. We’ll set out below how we established a credible purpose platform, authentic to KFC and launched it in a way that gained not only global PR coverage but helped to exceed our target for raising donations.


For years, KFC supported numerous charities, but the franchisee model meant efforts around community initiatives were disparate and unstructured. KFC lacked a central platform to showcase its good work... or accrue any brand recognition or trust. KFC needed us to create a social impact program that demonstrated they do more than sell finger-lickin’ good chicken. KFC has a long history of instilling confidence in young people, hiring over 35,000 in Australia, seeing firsthand the difference confidence makes in young lives. Research confirmed the most credible role for KFC’s purpose efforts was to help bolster confidence in Australian youth. Our task was three-fold. • Build a foundation with a mission to support Australian youth (as an external manifestation of KFC’s approach to how it employs, trains and nurtures people); • Develop a creative platform to launch it internally and to consumers; • Ultimately, increase brand trust and raise $1million in donations.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

KFC merchandise has a cult following, with Australian youth having to watch from the sidelines as other markets gobble it up. As we launched the KFC Youth Foundation, we leveraged our millennial audiences’ love for a ‘home’ exclusive along with their desire to spend with brands with similar values and those that give back to society. So, we created a merchandise range that would do more than just raise brand awareness but also raise money for a cause. Designing it specifically to appeal to our youthful audience and earn attention, the range was deliberately and uniquely Australian, quirky and unmistakably KFC. Chicken-scented surf wax (yes, you read that right) led the charge; Colonel’s-tie-inspired budgee smugglers (speedos); and, even a bespoke surfboard was up for grabs online. Fun, collectable enamel pins were sold instore so that all fans could express their support with cultish pride.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Ensured KFC had a single-minded, coordinated key message – building confidence in young Australians – to bring together all communications and activities whether internal or external. Established a three-phase strategy: • Rally the staff around the cause • Contextualize the problem • Provide the solution Launched the foundation in February 2018, working with a young Australian artist to bring the issues of youth confidence to life through a live artwork on stage in front of 3,500 employees. We shared video content of the five charity partners through KFC’s internal channels (Yammer), educating and building excitement and pride in the foundation’s mission. The KFC Youth Confidence Index (research report) then brought Australian media and key opinion leaders’ attention to the issue and the Foundation’s story. Having drawn attention to the youth confidence crisis, we then rallied Australia to donate in store and online through the launch of our exclusive merchandise range.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

After launching internally, we introduced the foundation to key opinion leaders and news media in April 2018, through the release of the KFC Youth Confidence Index. The team secured national earned media attention raising awareness around the issues of youth confidence. The problem contextualized, it was time to drive mass awareness and donations towards our $1milliom goal. In August 2018, the world said ‘G’day’ to the KFC Youth Foundation collection. We developed media assets including a look book of 30 shots at Bondi Beach. We sent merchandise to 150 influencers capturing unboxing moments to fuel momentum. We partnered with local artist and influencer, Chili Philli, to create three bespoke knitted pieces for the collection, using him as a spokesperson and leveraging his quirky content for media. Our earned and social campaign hit hours before the e-commerce site went live, driving urgency to bag a piece of the collection.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

Launching on August 16, 2018, the collection earned wall-to-wall coverage across all of Australia’s main media outlets from the Today Show to the Daily Telegraph. The story caused a sensation with mass engagement on social media and coverage in global market like the U.S (LA Times), UK (The Mirror, The Sun), Japan, France and Spain. More than 400 pieces of earned media coverage were secured, with 100% of the coverage positive and talking in detail about the Foundation’s mission, with a potential reach of 1,213,960,657. Further, 61% of earned coverage online included links to the foundation store. Through our influencer program and social content, we reached more than 2.5 million all helping to sell collection items out in hours. Tier 2 There has been a 5-point increase in “Brand Trust” in KFC since the launch of the KFC Youth Foundation. There is also increased attribution for KFC (2-point increase) as a brand that “gives back to Australian youth” at a time when the QSR category experienced decline (Source: TNS Brand Tracking Report for KFC). There’s over 220,000 pieces of KFC-branded fashion being proudly worn by Australians. Tier 3 The foundation is now core to the KFC business. It has become the sole fundraising mechanism, and an ownable platform for all of KFC’s social impact initiatives. Since the launch, the KFC Youth Foundation has raised $1.18 million smashing the $1 million annual target and with every single dollar directly supporting the KFC Youth Foundation’s charity partners!

Please tell us about the social behaviour and/or cultural insights that inspired your campaign

We knew that in order to launch KFC's CSR initiative in Australia, we had to find a way of making Australia care. The foundation was designed and conceived around an issue that would resonate with Australians - the research proved out the focus on Australian Youth Confidence was perfect for the market. We knew that Aussies were desperate for KFC merchandise, however, it was never available in Australia so that was the best way to make sure we engaged the whole of Australia's youth around the foundation launch was to create a range that was only available in Australia. The final part of making this campaign truly Aussie specific was finding a hook to the merchandise that would make Aussie's go wild - Chicken scented Surf Wax.


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