KFC celebrates rugby fandom and family ties

Super Rugby sponsor KFC has launched a new campaign via Ogilvy & Mather called ‘For the fans’, which celebrates that sense of camaraderie fans experience when heading to a game. It’s also released a spot for its picnic hampers, which is a bit of a departure from its usual ads, swapping light-hearted humour for the heart-warming family time card.

KFC’s ‘For the fans’ spot celebrates, essentially, the love of the game. Its blurb on its YouTube channel says KFC and rugby are the perfect match. “We’re both all about gathering family and mates together, whether it’s for a great meal or a great game.”

The ad features enthusiastic rugby fans showing their love of the game, intercut with a couple of KFC visits.

The Super Rugby season starts today.

The KFC campaign also includes an online Super Rugby hub , designed by Gladeye, where fan ideas can enter a code from their KFC receipt (through desktop or mobile) for a chance to win Super Rugby VIP tickets (which includes a double pass to the VIP KFC Fan Zone at the game, free KFC before the game or at half time, a meet and greet with the players including photos, and a Super Rugby beanie of the winner’s team of choice) and other prizes.

Each code a customer redeems gives the entrant “exclusive coupons” to print out for their next KFC feed. They can also collect points with each receipt code entered, which goes towards rewards and Super Rugby merchandise.

The hub includes a leader board of the upcoming games with a schedule and results for the different rounds.

Another ad, released last month, shows a bit of a shift in gear for KFC. Rather than having a family sitting in the lounge diving into the dirty bird spread across the table, licking fingers as the drum sticks in the bucket quickly deplete (it is ‘finger lickin’ good’ after all), the chain has opted for a more emotive familial scene.

A mum comes home with the kids as the children run into their dad’s arms. Then a flashback occurs of their KFC experience.

The two children and their mum grab some K Fry from the drive-through to eat at the park, but then a dramatic downpour occurs and they are forced to eat it sitting in the back of the car. But this only makes the scene more poetic, as they all smile and bite into their chicken while a Jose Gonzalezesque finger picking melody plays in the background. After all, you can love KFC in any weather.

The more emotive approach is also present in the Australian market, with a recent ad telling the heartwarming story of a tradie and his faithful pup.

Original Recipe Burger – 60” KFC from Welovejam on Vimeo.

KFC’s shorter spots in New Zealand, however, still have more of a fast-paced, fun time feel to them.

According to Restaurant Brands New Zealand’s (which operates KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks Coffee and Carl’s Jr) 2016 interim report, total brand sales for the group are $210 million, up $24.3 million (13.1 percent) on first half 2015 with a strong performance from KFC .

KFC sales so far are $153.2 million, up 11.7 percent or $16.1 million on the previous year ($137.1 million) with same store sales up 8.8 percent.

KFC finished the half-year with an EBITDA margin of 20.1 percent of sales, at the upper end of its normal range. In dollar terms KFC produced an EBITDA of $30.9 million, up $4.7 million (17.8 percent) on last year’s result.

Restaurant Brands’ net profit after tax for the 28 weeks ended 24 September 2015, first half 2016 was $13.4 million, which is up 16.7 percent this time last year.

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