MICHELIN IMPOSSIBLE

Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Image

TitleMICHELIN IMPOSSIBLE
BrandKFC
Product / ServiceKENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
CategoryD02. Use of Events & Stunts
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?

This is the story of how one KFC store owner with no social media presence or influence, and no media profile, gained worldwide notoriety, helping to improve perceptions of KFC’s food quality, leading to 7.6% sales growth, and an ROI of 15 to 1. Yet these amazing results were only possible with an agile team. Without a trusting, collaborative dynamic between the Brand, Media, and PR agencies, plus KFC, the mission to get Kentucky Fried Chicken a Michelin Star - “Michelin Impossible” - would have been...impossible.

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)

KFC was tainted with the fast food category stigma of producing fast, but low-quality food, which impacted the frequency with which consumers purchased it. So the brief was to improve the perceptions of KFC’s food quality, in order to increase sales. Yet ‘high quality’ is not a common association with fast food. Nor was it a new brief. Our past ‘quality’ campaigns had taught us that simply telling our ‘good food’ truths - like “KFC sources quality ingredients”, “is hand-breaded”, “adopts home-style cooking methods”, and “takes true pride in our food” - wasn’t effective. Consumers are highly sceptical of fast food brands claiming such credentials; they simply don’t believe it. So our overarching challenge was to get consumers to somehow listen and believe us when we told them KFC was good quality food, when they hadn’t believed us before.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

Independent research identified that simply reminding people 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”. We 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 pretty banal, and potentially KFC just talking to itself. We needed to do something that Aussies would notice. After numerous team workshops and ideation sessions that explored different ways to achieve increased quality perceptions, our bold strategy was to ditch traditional advertising. Instead, we associated 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.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

We devised a carefully crafted narrative, coupled with meticulously planned comms, media strategies, and back-up plans, to ensure our mission to get KFC a Michelin Star would be accepted and embraced by Australia. 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 ‘set-up’ by Sam, our carefully recruited KFC store owner and mission ambassador. 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, we did exactly that, scoring a highly unlikely meeting with the International Director of the Michelin Guide. This sounds too good to be true. But we'd planned for this (and many other possibilities), 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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