KFC is paying tribute to people's homemade versions of its fried chicken during quarantine in a light-hearted TV spot as it prepares to reopen restaurants and ramp up delivery in the U.K.
During the lockdown, with restaurants closed across the country from March 23, fans started posting pictures on Twitter of their own attempts to recreate KFC. The brand responded by critiquing their attempts and encouraging people to add more under the #RateMyKFC hashtag. The hashtag was used over 13,000 times and saw 1.4 million engagements on social media.
Now, agency Mother has selected some of the footage from Twitter to appear in its new ad as it comes out of lockdown, with 500 restaurants now open for delivery. The footage, which includes people's hilarious attempts at homemade KFC packaging as well as dubious recreations of its signature chicken, is set to Celine Dion track "All By Myself." The ad ends with the message: "We missed you too. But we'll take it from here."
It's certainly a brand pivot since the beginning of March, when KFC was forced to pull an ad campaign that revolved around "finger licking," but the brand felt that now, with most people across the U.K. able to access delivery, was the "perfect time" to advertise on TV again in the U.K..
Jack Hinchcliffe, marketing director at KFC U.K. and Ireland, told Ad Age's Creativity: "We saw people creating their own versions and some attempts were more successful than others. When delivery became a possibility we looked at a way of trying to tie the two things together."
Mother reviewed hundreds of examples of footage on Twitter before selecting those that appeared in the ad, according to the agency's executive creative director Hermeti Balarin. All whose recreations appear in the ad have been contacted and delivered a free KFC gift.
The brand also played on the home-made element in a content-based campaign it ran during the pandemic. KFC Clash featured influencers competing against each other to recreate menu items such as chicken wraps. However, unlike Ikea sharing its meatball recipe, KFC wasn't tempted to reveal its secret recipe online. "Only two people in the world know the recipe and it's in a vault in Kentucky," said Hinchcliffe.