KFC threw the first punch in the inaugural Canadian chicken sandwich battle, and the cultural chicken conversation delivered relevancy for KFC to a new, younger audience of chicken consumers.
KFC and their main fried-chicken rival are locked in a prolonged chicken sandwich battle in the USA – consumers there have given our rival the title of the ‘famous chicken sandwich’.
Our key competitor’s provocative work even generates earned media and excitement for them in Canada – despite the sandwich being unavailable in Canada.
Until 2020 that is.
In February 2020, KFC’s key opposition announced their sandwich would launch in Canada the following September. Big mistake. KFC had 7 months to plan the sabotage and throw the first punch in the inaugural Canadian chicken battle.
QSR notoriety and sales sometimes comes down to two brands slugging it out. Could we help KFC deliver a KO blow to our nearest challenger?
KFC knew they had to engage Canadian QSR customers who may have been exposed to our enemy’s earned media that spills into Canada. QSR customers are fickle and rotate between different brands, so we had to convince them not only to try the KFC sandwich – but to abandon the other sandwich they had already heard about.
It came down to one key insight – to be the world’s best chicken sandwich you can ONLY use the world’s best fried chicken. KFC Famous Chicken.
KFC would disrupt their adversary’s launch to steal the spotlight and remind Canadian QSR fans who the real fried chicken G.O.A.T. is.
KFC placed a full-page ad in a national newspaper alerting Canada that something big was coming from KFC – 2 weeks before their foe launched their sandwich.
KFC bought ads within televised NBA games that the competition sponsored to interrupt their messaging. We bought Out of Home billboards near to their restaurant locations, calling out, “You can’t have a famous chicken sandwich without Famous Chicken.”
On social, we identified lovers and haters of the other brand and sent contextually relevant messages to them.
And when people were hungry, we intercepted them. Firstly, when in-line for the other sandwich we sent them an AirDrop coupon to get the KFC sandwich for just $2 – but only if they left the line-up immediately. And secondly, on Uber Eats and Skip The Dishes with a KFC offer.
The Famous Chicken Chicken Sandwich out-performed KFC’s expectations of sales by selling out two weeks earlier than estimated.
The fame we created even got TV reporters live on air to say they preferred the KFC sandwich the most.