The Fame Game: KFC goes gourmet, ANZ uses the ‘F’ word and Cadbury’s sweet deal for vegans

Special PR’s Head of PR & Influence, Kelly Grindle, selects five of the most attention-grabbing campaigns that made a big difference for their respective brands.

Have a submissions for April’s column? Email [email protected]

KFC goes finger lickin’ gourmet

It appears my obsession with fast food marketing shows no sign of abating, but how can it after the team at KFC Australia unveiled their latest efforts? 

A secret pop-up, 11-course fine dining KFC experience complete with matching wines.

Celebrity chef Nelly Robinson has devised an extravagant menu that twists on the fast-food chain’s traditional dishes.  From ‘Supercharged Wings’ cooked over a bed of charcoal, to ‘The La-Di-Da Drumstick’ which is dusted in a special coating of quinoa and gold.

My favourite dish? Their take on ‘Popcorn Chicken’ served with celeriac soup, mushroom gnocchi, and basil with an edible floral garnish.


In keeping with the “11 secret herbs and spices” motto, some of the dishes remained under wraps until the live experience – although tactical leaks from the KFC team teased some epic sounding desserts, including their chocolate mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen.

The pop-up restaurant was available for fans to make a reservation for $75USD per person – with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to Australian charities Whitelion, ReachOut Australia and The Black Dog Institute.

KFC has no problem riffing off a social structure, and their take on high-end dining is sure to get a few laughs as the Colonel pokes fun at class. A wildly talkable, personalised experience paired with some damn-tasty-looking teaser content has forced an appraisal of what you come to expect from the fast-food brand.

Did I mention a drumstick coated in gold quinoa?

Jaguar slams the breaks on gender stereotypes

Jaguar She Sets The Pace at Hampton Downs – Rianna O’Meara-Hunt, Tiffany Chittenden and Amy Hudson.

Aren’t we tired of the way automotive brands speak to a female audience? Fashion Week sponsorships, an over-emphasis on design and colour, highlighting the added boot space for kids’ prams…

Jaguar has always challenged conventions, and they wanted to speak to women differently – because who says the thrill and appreciation for high-performance cars was the domain of men?

They teamed up with three trailblazing women in the automotive industry – Tiffany Chittenden, Amy Hudson, and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt – who coached The Project presenter Kanoa Lloyd through three high octane driving challenges.

Kanoa threw herself into the challenges, tackling the thrill and exhilaration of some of New Zealand’s highest performance cars, and defied expectations.

She was tasked with completing a “Flying Quarter Mile” in tribute to New Zealand’s original racing legend Sybil Lupp – with Kanoa managing to beat Sybil’s 1950s race time of 9 seconds, coming in at 8 seconds in the Jaguar F-Type.

The experiment was supported by an integrated content partnership with Discovery which saw editorial, sponsored content, and advertising blend seamlessly across terrestrial television, digital, VOD and social channels.

The Discovery partnership was a smart solution to deliver guaranteed reach, but because Jaguar was brave enough to tackle a campaign with purpose, they generated debate and talkability across all other major news sites too:  New Zealand Herald, Stuff, Newstalk ZB, Magic Talk, Radio NZ, Viva, New Zealand Women’s Weekly and more.

A clear demonstration that Jaguar’s racing ahead of other car brands.

ANZ delivers a f****** awesome campaign

Kiwis are a tight-lipped bunch when it comes to talking about their finances – we’d much rather talk about sex or politics.

So, to loosen those lips, and equip Kiwis with the know-how to start a conversation around finances, ANZ launched a campaign:  LET’S TALK ABOUT F_______.

Disruptive out of home is one thing – and I have certainly chuckled at the social media iterations of what on earth the “F” could stand for – but it’s the activations rather than the billboards which make this campaign memorable.

ANZ partnered with legendary Kingsland pizza joint Umu offering $1 ‘Money Feast’ pizzas that taught you how to slice up your dough – the box designed to replicate the 50% of your income allocated to “needs”, 30% on “treats”, and 20% on “savings.”

Other Kiwis were encouraged to snag free “Budget Brew” coffees at selected cafes that came complete with budgeting tips around the cup, or encouraged to have a financial conversation with a mate at their favourite pub or bar prompted by coasters on setting saving challenges.

Clever through-the-line additions made the campaign much more talkable by taking an advertising concept and bringing it to life via everyday occasions.

Much easier to have those conversations over a beer and pizza in my opinion.

Cadbury sweetens the deal for vegans

I don’t understand why people hate vegans, but there is certainly a tonne of acerbic and negative commentary about those poor tree-hugging, plant-eating souls online.

Enter Cadbury, who has decided to turn that negativity on its head for its first foray into plant-based chocolate.

The confectionery giant has opened a plant-based pop-up shop in London where its vegan chocolate is wrapped in mean tweets about veganism. From “Try vegan chocolate. It’s so horrible, you won’t want a second piece” to “Vegan chocolate?  Sounds grim”.

The shop was open for a week, encouraging thousands of commuters to put aside their misconceptions about veganism, and quite literally eat their words.

This is not necessarily the most original idea, Jimmy Kimmel has immortalised the concept with his popular ‘celebrities read mean tweets’ segment on US television, and it has been picked up by brands for the last few years.

But does that matter? As an industry, we tend to be creative purists, chasing ideas that have never been done before.

This still worked for Cadbury – it stimulated the debate of vegans vs the world, cleverly integrated its social channels, brought the brand to life through an eye-catching activation, and generated a whole bunch of headlines in the process.

Pretty sweet, I reckon.

Social media just got real

Have you noticed your Instagram feed feeling a little more authentic in the last week?

In another cracker from TBWA, the global initiative Bodyright has continued its fight against unethical retouching and misrepresentation of the human body with ‘March Unfiltered’.

Between March 28th and April 3rd brands, influencers and advertisers were encouraged to use authentic images with no filters or editing, helping to fight the tidal wave of mental health, body image and self-esteem issues plaguing young Kiwis.

The movement is centred around Ⓑ a Unicode symbol free for anyone, anywhere to use on their images or social profile.  Just as the copyright © communicates proof of ownership, the Bodyright Ⓑ will communicate proof of unretouched authenticity, reminding viewers of what bodies actually look like – sharing realistic weights, scars, skin tones, pores, acne, and body hair.

This campaign was superbly integrated – it included brand partnerships with the likes of Trilogy Skincare, 2degrees and The Warehouse; influencer endorsement from body-positive influencer Jess Quinn; and a tonne of editorial focused on this hidden epidemic impacting us via our screens.

While this topic is certainly “easier” to PR than the likes of financial wellbeing, its cohesive approach and direct messaging make it a worthwhile inclusion – Bodyright got it just right.

For more from Kelly and The Fame Game, click here.

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Kelly Grindle is Head of PR & Influence at Special PR.

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