Chicken (KFC), which was spun off by PepsiCo in 1997 and is now part of Yum! Restaurants International, has finally made it to Indian television screens with its first commercial since it entered the country. In another 10 days, an integrated outdoor campaign (focusing on the chicken-chomping protagonist Bunty) will follow the TVC, which will be aimed at driving potential customers to KFC outlets.
FCB Ulka is the agency that has worked on the creative for KFC. It bagged the account in 2005; JWT was handling the business before that. Sanjeev Bhargava, COO, FCB Ulka, says, "KFC is a chicken expert all over the world, and our mandate was to bring out the irresistibility of the unique way it serves chicken - crispy on the outside, juicy inside."
The TVC poses a question to the consumer, "What can you give up for the irresistibility of KFC chicken?" "Proposing to a girl is an important event in a man's life, so a story was built around that, saying that the irresistibility of KFC chicken can affect even this turning point in a man's life," says Bhargava.
When she realises he isn't replying, she peeps from the corner of her eye, and sees him licking his fingers and enjoying the chicken. She opens her eyes and repeats, "Kholoon?" But Bunty is still unable to look at anything but the remaining piece of chicken in the plate. He slides the box with the ring towards her, indicating she can wear it on her own. The ad ends with a voiceover conveying the irresistibility of KFC chicken.
Bhargava explains, "All over the world, KFC is linked with tasty chicken, and in India, Sardars are considered chicken connoisseurs. Therefore, this section of the population can identify easily with Bunty."
According to Unnat Verma, director, marketing, KFC India, there is a change in lifestyle, consumer behaviour and consumption patterns. Eating out has become a way to consume freshly cooked food, particularly for those who cannot get home-cooked food to office every day, says Verma. Clearly, the office-going segment will be a strong target for KFC. Therefore, it is safe to say that the target audience for KFC includes young working adults, with or without kids, and essentially, youth, from SEC A and B, aged between 25 and 30, living in cities. The brand appeals a lot to men, say the results of a study KFC conducted, and men are the core decision makers in terms of initiating what will be eaten.
KFC's core competence is branded chicken, and its objective is to get this concept to India. "KFC's competition is not a McDonald's, a Domino's, or any fast-food restaurant for that matter. It faces competition from all single-owned outlets that sell chicken as a primary product," Verma says.
The company feels that it is not really a disadvantage to launch a TVC more than a decade after its presence in the country, even though other branded chicken companies (such as Godrej Real Good Chicken) have raced ahead with their communication. "In terms of brand recall, KFC is one of the top five brands in the country, despite not being advertised on television, like other big brands," says Verma, defending his product.
He adds that KFC has done some strong groundwork for its brand, which includes thematic campaigns in print, promotions around various offerings on its menu such as the Chicken Bucket and Hot and Crispy Chicken and on-ground events such as road shows in small towns.
KFC also sponsored the ICC World Cup 2007, for which it launched the 'Yeh Contest Hai Fixed' promotion. Each customer was assured free dessert on buying hot and crispy chicken and a Pepsi. The customers also got to participate in a lucky draw, with the winners being treated to a 10-day, fully-paid trip to the West Indies and exclusive tickets for the important Indian matches.
KFC entered India in 1995 with an outlet in Bangalore. It relaunched the brand in 2004 after a gap. Today, it has 27 stores, seven in Delhi, five in Bangalore, four in Hyderabad, two each in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Pune, and one each in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Agra. Out of these, 16 were established last year. In December 2006, in line with a global initiative, the logo was revamped, too.
The film has been produced by Foot Candles, and has been shot by Rajesh Krishnan at a KFC outlet in Powai, Mumbai. The cost of the producing the film was approximately 30 lakhs.
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