afaqs!

KFC: Firing desires

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 27, 2015
KFC's newest TVC moves away from the taste proposition and latches on to a higher purpose.

Would a bucket of chicken change your life? Can it really fire up your dreams and ambitions in a way nothing else can? KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken, certainly seems to think that way. Looking at its recent television campaign, one may wonder - can KFC really give you wings?

KFC's Feed your Fire TVC

The film, called 'Feed you Fire' is a long format film, which opens with a young boy sharing his dreams of making the school basketball team. But his apparent shortfall is his height. However, not to be disheartened by the inches, while biting into a KFC bucket of Flaming Crunch Chicken, the boy decides to keep working on his skill. A cut out KFC bucket turns into his practice basketball hoop as he trains day and night. The day arrives when his coach finally gives him a chance to show his mettle on the court, as he shoots the winning basket.

Ajay Gahlaut

"It is a different generation who are consuming the campaign right now. This generation wants to do greater things, wants to achieve something bigger and better. The concept of 'feeding your fire' seemed to be a perfect fit for the KFC Flaming Crunch Chicken," explains Ajay Gahlaut, executive creative director, Ogilvy & Mather.

The campaign promotes KFC's Flaming Crunch Chicken. Earlier, KFC introduced the fiery girlled chicken which received a positive feedback in USA and India both. Recall that, KFC in its first launch campaign, tried to position itself as the 'finger licking good' food. Just before the launch of the fiery grilled chicken however, the brand changed the global positioning to 'so good'. 'so good'. Remarkably, the brand never moved away from talking about the taste.

However, in the new campaign film, KFC latches on to a higher order benefit. One that says, with KFC one can aim to reach higher, follow his dreams and fire his desires. According to Gahlaut, it is no big surprise.

"KFC has been talking in one language. But that can change. Maybe this new language will continue. The point is, the fact that the KFC taste is so good, as communicated in earlier campaigns, has already been established. Therefore, this campaign goes beyond taste," adds Gahlaut.

But does the brand connect really shine through? Couldn't it, just as well, be a campaign film for a health drink? Or maybe even a life insurance company? Our experts are divided on the issue.

Jayanto Banerjee

Sailesh Wadhwa

Jayanto Banerjee, national planning director, Hakuhodo Percept, misses the brand or product connect. The only connect, he feels, is the packaging - that of the bucket and not the chicken.

"I can't understand the need to change from 'so good' to 'feed the fire'.'So good' is a great line - feels real and has a great product fit. "Feed the fire" sounds too advertising and generic. Plus, loser boy turning into a winner - doesn't score very high on originality, does it?" says a disappointed Banerjee.

However, according to Sailesh Wadhwa, strategy planning director at Lowe+Partners, Malayasia, the campaign looks like a well thought out strategic brand plan for the long haul. He feels it is a refreshing change and a brave move from the conventional 'happy moments' QSR communication.

"It makes you believe that KFC is serious about carving and nurturing this segment which doesn't react favourably to advertising pitches anymore. Hence a storytelling format that attempts to identify with the age and aspirations. In fact QSR brands are changing their stance in both India and China to find and connect with the cultural context. In the process, doing things they've not attempted before. Surely it is a narrative that should tug at the hearts of audiences they hope to bring in. All in all, it takes the KFC story forward," feels Wadhwa.