MICHELIN IMPOSSIBLE

Short List
TitleMICHELIN IMPOSSIBLE
BrandKFC
Product / ServiceKENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
CategoryB05. Content Discovery & Amplification
EntrantOGILVY AUSTRALIA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation OGILVY AUSTRALIA Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Idea Creation 2 OPR AGENCY Sydney, AUSTRALIA
PR OPR AGENCY Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Production OGILVY AUSTRALIA Sydney, AUSTRALIA

Credits

Name Company Position
Blake Arthur Ogilvy Australia Senior Copywriter
Jake Ausburn Ogilvy Australia Copywriter
Amanda Bennie Ogilvy Australia Senior Agency Producer
Leigh Bignell Ogilvy Australia Executive Business Director
Shaun Branagan Ogilvy Australia Group Creative Director
Sarah Collier KFC Social Impact & Public Relations
Ellen Corr Ogilvy Australia Senior Account Manager
James Curtis Ogilvy PR Senior Account Director
Jessica Farahar Ogilvy Australia Senior Account Director
Madeleine Hanley Ogilvy PR Senior Account Manager
Kate Horton KFC Brand Manager
Charlotte Jones Ogilvy Australia Senior Account Director
Wilson Kwong Ogilvy Australia Copywriter
Tom MacPhail Ogilvy Australia Art Director
Stephen Maher Ogilvy PR Senior Creative
Gavin McLeod Ogilvy Australia Executive Creative Director
Ryan O'Connell Ogilvy Australia Head of Strategy
Ola Olorunnimbe Ogilvy Australia Social Strategist
Cassie Poiner Ogilvy Australia Group Account Director
Daniel Reisinger Infinity Squared Designer
Carl Robertson Ogilvy Australia Senior Art Director
Chris Seeto Infinity Squared Producer
Sally Spriggs KFC Marketing Director
Kristi Woolrych KFC Chief Marketing Officer
Taylor York Ogilvy PR Senior Account Manager

Why is this work relevant for PR?

When KFC tried to tell people its food was good quality, no one believed them. So KFC Australia decided to do things differently: 1. Transformed one KFC store owner into a global social influencer 2. Twisted content marketing on its head. By turning the narrowcast approach of a Facebook content hub into a broadcast medium - making it specifically attractive to mainstream journalists. With 6 months of planning and a reactive and agile team, we improved perceptions of the quality of KFC's food, and generated 7.6% sales growth, resulting in an ROI of 16 to 1.

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.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

We gave KFC's most remote store owner a Facebook account, ghost writer, media training, production crew, pan-agency support team, and 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. Our idea wasn’t about actually 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 carefully cast Sam, 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?

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

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 Micheline Guide – leveraging its credibility and influence to get Kentucky Fried Chicken the quality kudos it deserved.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

We devised a carefully crafted, social-first narrative 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 to be set-up by Sam. The Facebook Group and all content was produced to look as if Sam was championing the mission alone. But it was actually a highly considered and professionally produced content hub, that also acted as a goldmine for journalists. We had a million ideas on where the mission would take Sam, planning multiple different ways the story could play out. After a global swell of social (and earned media) support, we ended up scoring Sam a highly unlikely meeting with the International Director of Michelin Guide, and had a crew ready to capture the moment in Paris.

List the results (30% of vote)

1. REACH 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” Sales results below in confidential information section.

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