Cannes Lions is shining a spotlight on China with a curated China Day on this year’s program, backed by Tencent – one of the many Chinese brands in the sponsor lineup. In a rapid fire presentation, Yum China CMO, Steven Li, joined Chris Chen, CCO of Isobar China Group, to discuss how KFC was able to turn its stagnant business around in a mere three years.
Chen kicked off the presentation with a bold claim that KFC is now touted to be the next in line to join the big three Chinese tech giants – BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. He explained that this was unthinkable back in April 2015, when the brand was experiencing a huge lost of shine to its “young and energetic image”.
“In China, niche is mass,” said Chen, to a chorus of chuckles in the audience. With a group of 280 million digital natives who are becoming the driving force of Chinese consumers, coined the ‘Post 95s’, digital marketing to millennials in China is done at mass scale. Even channelling ‘smaller’ apps like Kwai and Douyin, we’re still talking about DAU (daily active users) of 110 and 60 million respectively.”
But as Chen clarified, while scale is an advantage to marketers, the ageing brand needed to live in youth culture in order to not only remain influential but also to turn this hyper connected group into advocates of KFC.
So they built a KFC super app – an ecosystem where all customer interactions with the brand – order, payment, delivery, membership benefits, e-gifts – can take place. And they also did it following the four pillars of their marketing strategy:
- Social in
- Mobile up – all campaigns in China are mobile centric
- Always on
- Last mile first – keeping transaction front of mind
Li explained that his team are now tasked to work like product managers in a tech firm, as managing inventory of 5,600 stores over 1200 cities in order to deliver a mobile pre-ordering system, including delivery service to high-speed rail passengers, is a massive technical and data undertaking.
The super app has become so successful that in less than three years, KFC has built a loyalty program with more than 120 million members and app sales today accounts for 40% of all sales for KFC in China.
The second case study demonstrated KFC’s use of AI, which took on the form of Dumi – an AI service robot, developed in co-op with Baidu, which can accurately recognise regional Chinese dialects and human emotions.
KFC’s foray into AI also include a ‘pay with smile’ system in 1500 stores where customers can make a payment simply by smiling into the ordering screen; as well as AI generated menus based on customer’s past purchases and personal preference.
The session concluded with a final case study of KFC’s use of a gaming partnership. With more than 564 million mobile gamers in China, KFC was quick to jump into bed with Onmyoji – a mobile game which saw 200 million downloads within six months of launch. Using LBS (location-based service) and AR, reminiscent of Pokémon Go, players are encouraged to meet in-store to play together in order to access hidden content and rewards. Li was quick to add that parents loved this campaign, as it convinced young people to leave their house. The campaign proved to be wildly successful as 3 million Onmyoji Meal Boxes were sold out in nine days.
Please login with linkedin to commentCannes Lions 2018
Marc Collister (pictured) of P2 Content Creators spills the beans on his 2024 predictions drawing from two decades of experience in the advertising, film and television industry. I’m certain it will come as no surprise that in 2024, we can expect our industry to move at breakneck speed again. With even more rapid shifts in […]
Reddit’s annual Recap report has revealed the issues and moments that captured Australia’s collective mind over 2023 with, naturally, the Matildas featuring high on the list. The inaugural Australia-hosted Women’s World Cup saw Aussies glued to the footy (or, indeed soccer) with one enterprising user capturing the moment that Cortnee Vine scored the winner against […]
Zeno Australia has announced expanded creative design capabilities and the appointment of Jim Michell (lead image) to its senior leadership team. The new moves support strong growth in the region. Zeno Australia’s clients, including Abano Healthcare, Motorola and Yorkshire Tea, can now tap into a suite of creative design services to augment the agency’s work […]
Spikes Asia, APAC’s most prestigious and sought-after Award for creativity and marketing effectiveness, has revealed its 2024 Jury line-up today. The 93 industry experts from across 18 markets represent APAC’s leading talent from a diverse range of disciplines. 2024 sees the highest representation from brands, including Budweiser, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and, for the first […]
Assembled Media, is drawing upon the creative power of TikTok Creator Marketplace to help generate unique, impactful content for iconic stationery brand, BIC. The social activation campaign titled ‘A Pen for Every Side of You’ promotes the flexibility of BIC’s 4 Colours pen and is active nationwide on the BIC Stationery TikTok account. The campaign […]
Pinterest reckons jellyfish & moody cowboys will be big in 2024. Refused to be drawn on the return of shoulder pads.
IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]
Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising, announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]
NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]
Following a period of significant client growth, leading auto marketing agency, DBC2 has appointed Jason Fisher (lead image) to the newly created role of CEO. The appointment is part of DBC2’s long term growth strategy ahead of the agency announcing a brand refresh and expanded proposition in early-2024. As a new shareholder of the business, […]
Don’t treat regional media as a charity, but a real growth opportunity: That’s the message from Boomtown’s final masterclass of 2023, attended by almost 100 media industry representatives from across the nation. The masterclass was part of a series of educational sessions, delivered by Boomtown, the media collective championing advertising in regional Australia. The sessions […]