KFC - The Great Chicken Crisis

Case study - Objective: Address an issue

A major supply chain issue forced KFC to temporarily close hundreds of stores around the country earlier this year, equating to £1 million loss of revenue per day. The story quickly became front page news with global news outlets picking up on the chicken crisis.

In a bid to take control of the situation and demonstrate humility and humour, KFC used newsbrands to say “we’re sorry”. Newspapers were able to deliver a timely and powerful message to a large-scale audience in a trustworthy environment, while encouraging conversation and generating a positive sentiment.

With a simple, clever play on letters, the brand made a bold and honest apology directly to their customers, using cheeky humour that reinforced KFC’s brand values. Having averted a crisis, the brand was praised for facing up to the issue, with 733 articles dedicated to KFC ‘FCK’. The reaction was overwhelmingly positive and KFC enjoyed a marked increase in its trustworthy measure following the campaign.

With so much going on in the world, it’s inevitable that we’d struggle to pick just one winner for the best topical campaign. The two winners approached news in very different ways, showing us the breadth of opportunity that newsbrands offer.

Jordi Connor, strategic planning director, Carat