Cannes Lions

KFC Youth Foundation Launch

EDELMAN, Sydney / KFC / 2019

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Case Film






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.

As lead agency 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.


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.


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.


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.

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