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Ad Review: Revealed – the secret behind KFC’s finger lickin’ goodness, well almost

19-April-2010
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Ad Review: Revealed – the secret behind KFC’s finger lickin’ goodness, well almost

Client: KFC
Brand: KFC
Agency: Ogilvy
Medium: Television, massive sampling of chicken and in store communication

KFC, which has been always been pegged as being ‘Finger lickin’ good’, has recently launched a new ad campaign that talks about the brand’s ‘Original Recipe Chicken’. The marketing objective here was to reinforce and bring alive this signature taste across the portfolio by revealing what happens in the kitchens of KFC to create such a riot of sensation in one’s mouth.

The Brief:

Unnat Varma, Director Marketing - KFC, Yum! Restaurants India, said, “The brief is very simple. We want a brand communication, which highlights key differentiator of KFC. It communicates the great reason of great taste. It makes a brand film, which talks about reason to believe.”

Shailendra Mahajan, Creative Group Head, Ogilvy, explained, “While Indian people love the taste of KFC chicken, hardly anybody knows that this taste comes from Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe that has remained a secret for over 70 years. That and the care and love with which this chicken gets made inside a KFC restaurant are what needed to be told to the Indian viewer in a simplistic fashion. From a business perspective, the communication was supposed to cut across age groups and make the brand more inclusive.”

Mahajan further said, “The idea developed was that KFC Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices is a closely guarded. The same aura of the secret recipe was heightened in the idea. We never see the face of the chef because we do not want to ‘give him away’, he is also a part of the secret. The jar with the secret recipe is kept in a hi-tech vault that cannot be opened without the correct code. Not only that, even the VO was crafted in such a fashion, that nothing was revealed specifically and left you wondering what could be that secret behind the unique finger lickin’ good taste of KFC. To give the commercial an authentic feel, the entire set up had a ‘freshly made inside the kitchen’ feel and the pace of the film was easy flowing – like in cookery shows.”

“The ad describes that some secrets can never be revealed, just like KFC’s age old secret recipe of great taste. The unusual setting of a KFC kitchen that has a fresh home-made kitchen feel. The closely guarded jars containing the secret recipe and the VO that seem to be revealing the secret, but doesn’t really specify anything,” he added.

The Execution:

The TVC intriguingly leaves out the chef’s identity to add to the shroud of mystery, heightening the secrecy. The secret herbs come out of a impregnable locker in an untagged glass jar containing the ‘fabled recipe’, which creates the awesome, finger licking taste.

The Final Product:

The film opens with the shot of a chef in front of a kitchen table laid out with assorted vegetables. He picks up a bell pepper and starts chopping it. MVO: “Kabhi socha hai KFC ke lazzatdaar khaane ka raaz”? A boy bites into a piece of Original Recipe Chicken; a girl licks her fingers. Piping hot Original Recipe Chicken is seen stacked in a KFC chicken bucket. MVO: “KFC ke 11 herbs aur spices ki secret recipe”.

Trump card:

We rate it 6 out of 10.

Xpert Comments:

Giving her views on the ad, Charu Bakshi, President, 4thD IMC, said, “I do not know the marketing challenge behind the new strategy, but it seems too late in the brand life cycle to be talking about the secret recipe. It seems more appropriate as a launch idea. As far as the TVC goes, it seems heavy on rational demo and much lacking in appetite appeal. Just the last finger licking shot does not seem to be doing justice to it. The shots are very unappetising. And the poor Colonel winking in the end has suddenly brought him down from his pedestal.”

Our take:

The ad brings out the tempting flavour of KFC chicken. Though the thought process behind in the making of the ad is not original, after all isn’t Coke’s formula an equally heavily guarded one? However, we would like to give the ad a thumbs up for bringing Colonel Sanders into the picture and keeping the storyboard simple, yet appealing. We look forward to the second ad in the series.

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