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For KFC, TV will continue to be primary medium to reach consumers

The quick service restaurant brand has been expanding its burger menu to fight increasing competition from both home-grown and international brands. KFC has been TV-heavy in its communication. The brand, however, has been increasing spends on digital as well. Moksh Chopra, CMO, KFC India shares the brand's strategy to attract more customers

A few days ago, reported how KFC, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, is getting aggressive on the marketing front by launching merchandise, video games, etc., giving enough reasons to consumers to indulge with the brand. So when KFC announced that the most extravagant celebrity was on its way to be a part of Madame Tussauds Delhi, many presumed that a new statue of Colonel Sanders was going to be installed at the famous wax museum.

But guess what! It was Colonel's signature classic ‘Chicken Zinger Burger’ that managed to find a spot in the iconic Regal Building at Connaught Place in New Delhi.

Yes, you heard that right. After becoming the only 'Food Astronaut' to travel to space, or specifically to the edge of space, the not-so-humble burger found its way to Madame Tussauds, in what the brand calls it as a historic first.

But how did the brand think of coming up with such an idea?

Moksh Chopra

“It’s a known fact that the ‘Zinger Burger’ has been a star for almost two decades. It’s sold across 120 countries. In India alone, we sold almost 10 million zingers in 2018. The Zinger Burger has got all the aspects that make it a celebrity — real fans, people actually get tattoos of Zinger on their body, they take selfies with it. Shah Rukh Khan too had tweeted about it. It made headlines. The fact that it is one-of-its kind and many rivals tried to imitate it but didn’t succeed, gave us enough reasons to go ahead with this collaboration with Madame Tussauds,” says Moksh Chopra, Chief Marketing Officer, KFC India.

"The fact that there is a burger product story coming from KFC itself is quite interesting because we have got a very strong burger portfolio but a lot of consumers don’t know about it. So, it will catch attention from the virality and organic perspective,” Chopra adds. 

The brand hopes the move will generate a lot of excitement among ‘Zinger’ fans. There are many burger lovers who haven’t tried Zinger Burger yet. And such initiatives will entice them to taste it.

“Through this collaboration, a lot more people will get to know about the Zinger Burger and try it at a KFC restaurant. Hopefully, they become fans of the Zinger like others,” says Chopra.

The brand has a huge consumer base and doesn’t define its TG on the basis of age group. But for KFC, youth and millennials primarily remain the biggest TG.

Smart marketing

Interestingly, the brand is not spending too much around this particular campaign and no extra money has been kept aside separately. It’s just a collaboration with Madame Tussauds. The brand is optimistic that the initiative will draw a lot of attention from the consumers.

“We have got a whacky cool marketing team at KFC that keeps doing interesting stuff, and this is just one of them. We also have an agency that is very curious about doing such creative works. So, the installation is the brainchild of these creative folks,” says Chopra.

The way KFC does business has two parts — ‘What KFC does’ and ‘How it conveys to the audience’. “From the brand’s DNA perspective, KFC has always been known for being unique and innovative and that remains as part of our strategy. We do unique and disruptive products. The ‘Chicken’ itself is a unique and innovative product. We did interesting launches like Chizza, Double Down, etc. But it’s not just about the food; we also do interesting stuff beyond food, e.g. last time we launched Kentucky Flying Drone – KFO (when the food gets delivered to your home, the meal box turns into a drone) a first in the category,” says Chopra.

Being innovative is part of KFC’s ethos. The brand launched a new merchandise range recently followed by a video game. This year, the brand had also launched Finger Lickin’ Gear (FLG), which is adapted for a khufiya khiladi (cricket fan) who sits at home and enjoys watching cricket.

“It all starts from Colonel Sandler's philosophy. While Colonel took the food seriously, he didn’t take himself too seriously. He always loved to have fun, engage with people, and have his own eccentricities and nuances. So, we try to bring that character and tonality in every single thing that we do,” says Chopra.

On the growth trajectory

KFC has been on the growth path in India. The brand is doing exceedingly well in terms of sales. KFC has over 400 restaurants in 107 cities.

While the ‘Classy Zinger’ is available at KFC restaurants, the brand launched two more variants — Spicy Zinger and Tower Burger. Both of them are available for a limited period and depending on the responses, the brand will continue with the offerings. Specifically for the India market, the brand innovated a vegetarian Zinger — an ‘Asli Veg Burger’.

“For us, the category could be defined in multiple ways, QSR or Chicken. Overall, the KFC zone lies in both these spaces. We are basically a quick-service restaurant that specialises in providing authentic craveable taste — both food and beverages — to consumers across the board. So, our positioning ‘finger lickin’ good food’ is done the right way,” explains Chopra.

For KFC, TV continues to be the primary medium to reach consumers. But for the past three years, the brand is using digital on multiple fronts. “Digital has three roles for us — reaching out to consumers with brand messaging, such as what’s new at KFC, what’s new coming up at KFC. We also use digital to engage with consumers because it helps in building two-way conversations. Thirdly, with the coming up of e-comm, digital is used for ordering and buying purposes,” says Chopra.

Tags: KFC
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