Cannes Lions

The First Colonel to Conquer eSports

MINDSHARE CHINA, Shanghai / KFC / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Since 2015, KFC has made the gamer community a core pillar of their communications in China.

Four years later, the objective was simple: go beyond sponsorships to make KFC an integral part of League of Legends, the world’s most popular Esport with roughly 111 million players in China alone (source: laoyuegou - China eSport Report)

Idea

Since 2015, KFC has made the gamer community a core pillar of their communications in China.

Four years later, we aim to go beyond sponsorships to make KFC an integral part of League of Legends, the world’s most popular eSport with 111 million players in China alone (source: laoyuegou-China Game Report)

We found Gamers like numbers. Win ratios. Gold collected. Magic stats. Attack damage. eSports games like League of Legends have many more numbers than a typical ball game.

But with all these numbers churned out in real time, fans and sports commentators often rely on gut feel and sheer excitement to predict the winner.

No typical fan has the time to do probability calculations while watching a game.

But gamers engaged in predicting winners so much, just as what we do for world-cup.

KFC saw this as the biggest opportunity to address an unmet need and elevate fan experience.

Strategy

Giving fans this new capability was the only way for KFC to be truly integral to the experience, and The Colonel was definitely the perfect persona to deliver this to fans.

We created an algorithm based on all historical data and real-time data for each team, these data include:

• World’s top 4000 players

• 100,000 professional final games

• 50,000 gaming hours

• 5 TB data with over 15 data dimensions

• Over 1 billion of calculated possible arrays

The algorithm in the form of Colonel KI was capable of giving out real-time predictions on who would win a match based on game stats.

The AI predictor proved to be highly accurate that fans went crazy for it, and it became League of Legends’ “Paul the Octopus”. It got correct answer for all last 3 final games out of total 4 final games.

Execution

Colonel KI’s predictions were featured on the actual game screen during the livestreaming to give predictions.

In game, A Colonel KI graph at the bottom of the screen appeared to show real-time win rates that changed as the game progressed.

Fans could also log into the KFC app to access and track the predictions throughout the match. Here, people could also check more detailed data to understand more about what’s going on in the arena down to the most micro of stats. This function also benefitted gamers to recap their performance after the game, analyzing at which point in time the odds shifted to their favor.

Colonel KI also served as a warm-hearted cheerleader and distributed KFC coupons to all fans during the game – inviting the audience to order KFC online and have fried chicken while enjoying the game.

Outcome

Colonel KI became the new icon of League of Legends.

Audience passionately calling for Colonel KI - more than 1.9 million on-screen comments (scrolling text during matches) specific to KFC were generated.

KFC topic views on Weibo, one of China’s biggest social media platforms, reached 35 million – organically – 2X more than the most viewed Weibo topic from this year’s World Cup brand sponsors. It is worth noting no other League of Legends sponsor had any Weibo topic by comparison!

Colonel KI created an epic cooperation that served the objective of making KFC an integral part of the game, bringing added value to the game, gamers, fans, and of course, the brand.

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