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How Facebook Helped KFC Boost Its Outreach Across Three Markets

Established in 1952 in Utah, U.S.A, Kentucky Fried Chicken, popularly known as KFC, has become a household name today. KFC was one of the first fast-food chains to expand internationally as it opened its outlets in Britain, Mexico, and Jamaica by the mid-1960s. While its growth story is truly unbelievable, KFC has relied greatly on the word-of-mouth technique for its marketing, which has eventually been leveraged through social media, particularly Facebook, to work its magic for the brand.



So, here’s how Facebook helped KFC cement its place in the rapidly growing fast-food market in Malaysia, UAE, and India.


1. KFC Malaysia

KFC Malaysia opened its first restaurant in Malaysia in 1973, and today operates 749 outlets across the country.


Their Objective

To earn more online sales, KFC Malaysia wanted to promote its website and app while also encouraging customers to use its home delivery and self-collect services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.



Solution & Approach

Due to government-mandated travel restrictions, KFC Malaysia’s customers could not dine at its outlets. To let customers know they could still pick up a meal to take home or have their order delivered, the restaurant worked with The Pistol, a Facebook Business Partner, and media agency Universal McCann to create a personalized Advantage+ catalog ad campaign (formerly called dynamic ads).


When setting up the campaign, the team created a product catalog of KFC’s menu items so that the Advantage+ catalog ads could automatically create a “special menu” for each viewer that highlighted special offers as well as items that would most appeal to them. To provide further personalization, the team updated KFC Malaysia’s Facebook pixel, which is a piece of code that businesses can add to their websites that lets them measure, optimize and build audiences for their advertising campaigns.


KFC Malaysia broadly targeted ads to people in Malaysia between the ages of 18 and 64, who did not often dine at its outlets. Using the catalog sales objective, the campaign included a video ad featuring a limited-time offer, as well as photo ads of menu items sourced dynamically from the catalog. Each ad was tailored to suit what each ad recipient was most likely to respond to and purchase. The ads linked to KFC Malaysia’s website, where people could browse the menu, add items to their cart, choose pickup or delivery and complete their payment.


The Result

KFC Malaysia’s Facebook campaign performed much better than its expectations as it led to 57% more purchases (both website and app), 84% more in-app purchases, and 37% lower cost per action from Advantage+ catalog ads than from business-as-usual photo ads campaign.


2. KFC UAE

After adding the Facebook Conversions API to its campaigns in the United Arab Emirates, the global fried chicken chain measured 5% additional purchases from its Facebook ads.



Solution & Approach

KFC and its agency, Hearts & Science, wanted to find a way of maintaining accurate information from its Facebook campaigns in the UAE and to refresh its Facebook advertising strategy in line with emerging new standards for browser and mobile phone software.


Solution & Approach

A significant part of KFC’s ad spend is devoted to increasing orders on its popular KFC.me website, so KFC worked closely with its analytics partner Datahash to introduce a Conversions API setup for its always-on campaigns on Facebook.


KFC and Hearts & Science ran ads in carousel format, displaying selected items, special offers, and popular choices from the KFC menu. Clicking through the ads took people to KFC.me to place their orders.


The Result

KFC UAE’s Facebook campaign performed exceptionally well to generate 5% additional purchases and a 4% increase in customer actions measured with Conversions API and Facebook pixel combined, compared to pixel alone.


3. KFC India

KFC India ran a series of Facebook video ads to highlight its special offers and encourage restaurant visits, resulting in over 57,000 people visiting its stores across India.



Their Objective

KFC India wanted to increase customer visits to its stores all across the country, and boost sales. It also wanted to establish itself as a value-for-money brand in the eyes of consumers.


Solution & Approach

KFC India ran two campaigns on Facebook to introduce various sales offers and discounts. The recurring Wednesday Offer campaign highlighted the availability of a product discount on Wednesdays and ran across television and social media. The Big Bucket campaign, which ran from August 9–18, 2019, focused on capturing consumer attention during the Independence Day weekend in India. It promoted KFC’s Big Bucket meal at a heavily discounted price, counting on the heavy holiday weekend store traffic to earn more sales.


To expand both campaigns, the restaurant brand partnered with the creative agency Blink Digital to generate mobile-optimized video ads, which featured fried chicken along with the price of the offer. In addition, KFC ran link ads to promote the offers. All ads also used store visits as the campaign objective, reaching people who were more likely to visit one of KFC’s stores. Both campaigns also used location-based targeting to reach people that were within a two-mile radius of a KFC store.


KFC also created a lookalike audience based on people who had previously visited its stores or website. The brand also retargeted ads to people who engaged with the KFC Facebook Page in the previous six months and tested for various interests, such as entertainment and shopping, to find the best-performing one.


The Result

KFC India’s Facebook campaign turned out to be a massive success as it resulted in over 57,000 store visits and an 89% increase in return on ad spend from Wednesday Offer. Also, there was a 37% increase in return on ad spend from Big Bucket Offer and a 20% increase in Big Bucket purchases during the campaign period. Moreover, 120 million people were reached by both campaigns.


Wrapping Up

Over the last decade, Facebook has undoubtedly cemented its position as the prime marketing platform for brands of all sizes and industries. With a plethora of marketing options that it offers such as Augmented Lead Ads, photo ads, video ads, dynamic ads, and Messenger, it can play a vital role in helping brands reach their target audience. A sound combination of Facebook’s immense marketing potential, a solid marketing plan, and top-notch content can help brands from any industry attain their marketing goals with ease.


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