MOTHER, London / KFC / 2019
In the UK, coupons aren’t that big a deal, generally. They’ve never been used by KFC in this market (in living memory). But KFC knew from other markets that they can be a valuable driver of trial and footfall - especially to reinvigorate menu favourites. So with the ultimate deal, Brexit, in the ballance, it was the perfect opportunity for KFC to trail coupons and offer their fans a great deal - all with that undeniable KFC tone shining through. The ad allowed KFC to use it’s ‘voice of the people’ approach to make a political point and sell some chicken.
Neither coupon ads, nor Brexit are normally much fun. We decided to change that. On February 7th 2019 (the same day EU President Donald Tusk declared that there’s ‘a special place in hell for Brexiteers’), we addressed a full page ad in two massive UK newspapers, The Metro and The Sun, to Prime Minister Theresa May.
The ad itself simply said that we could teach her a thing or two about deals. A simple, bold, direct and extremely topical newspaper ad, addressed to the most powerful person in the country.
KFC had never, in living memory, used coupons in the UK. It hasn’t been a major force in UK brand communications, more generally. This ad was a trail of coupons for KFC, given the success of the channel in driving footfall and sales in other markets. Using the KFC tone within this context allowed us to have a much bigger impact than a more typical coupon ad. The media placement, in two national tabloids only, helped this ad travel further than the press alone - it was an imminently shareable image, with roots in the biggest news saga of the day. A slightly amusing take on the ongoing melodrama of Brexit. (Plus some cracking deals for our KFC fans to take full advantage of.)
Simple, bold, eschewing the conventions of coupon advertising. We treated this like a proper ad. With a respect that nobody ever gives to coupon ads. We crafted the layout. We crafted the line. And we integrated the coupons into the layout, rather than simply bolting them onto the bottom, like everyone else always does.
Thousands of KFC fans redeemed the vouchers in the validity period - despite this is the first time that KFC have undertaken vouchering with their UK audience. At a UK national level the voucher campaign had an incremental uplift on sales of 0.5%. In London (the focus market), the sales vs control has seen a 4% uplift in sales driven by the voucher campaign.