KFC China



This is definitely one of the most insightful article with regards to China, a fast and growing market.AdAge reports the recent campaign by KFC in China on how they are adopting the cliche but sure-win approach of celebrity endorsements. This campaign by Ogilvy, takes celebrity endorsements onto another level. What interests me is how receptive the market in China is from their reaction to many stale marketing tactics. Using a group of five influential celebrities, the campaign aims to go for the kill through not only a collective celebrity power, but also tapping on the celebrities’ social fan base. Taking into consideration that one of the actors has a staggering 72 million followers on Weibo, it is potentially a lethal marketing cannon.

As much I believe, China is quickly becoming a very digitally savvy nation. Ogilvy Shanghai, fully aware of this rising trend, leverages on it with their digital campaign for KFC. They immediately focus on using these celebrities to advertise on engaging social media activities. One for instance, aims to motivate fans to compete against one another over the amount of “likes” for their favorite celebrities. Another very fruitful insight from AdAge talks about the fact that KFC has been one of the biggest and most successful food chain with the longest history in China, since its penetration 27 years ago. A whopping 2,600 outlets in China alone is seriously no joke. A bigger market equity than McDonalds by itself is an amazing feat.

However, as the the brand suffers a decline in operations, branding and sales due to the avian flu outbreak and health inspections, it was devoid of a good strategy to fight back. Now with more marketing campaigns and excellent strategic brand initiatives, the brand is taking back its helm.

What I believe to be extremely essential is an extract from Adage‘s article:

“Celebrities are often used as a quick and easy way to sell products in China,” acknowledged Graham Fink, Ogilvy & Mather‘s chief creative officer for greater China. He pointed out that the same celebrities are often tapped by many brands.

“I think that more and more people are beginning to see through this ‘cheap’ tactic, and the brand will ultimately suffer as a result,” he said. But if the celeb seems “genuinely involved in the message they become more believable, and this is what we are trying to do with KFC.”

Another one:

A top national executive for KFC’s parent company, Yum!, noted that China is the world’s biggest digital society (with 618 million people online) and that Chinese consumers are “moving at the speed of a bullet train.”
The brand is seeking to revamp its menu and offerings every 12 months and I believe this would constantly refresh their image and presence in the eyes of the consumer. When done effectively, shall be a very deciding factor when it comes to triumphing strict competition between competitors on an industry level.
Milind Pant, president and chief operating officer for Yum! China, wrote in an email that “urban Chinese are becoming the most digital savvy group in the world, offering opportunities for brands to innovate and communicate.”

The menu revamp is part of what KFC has labeled its “restage,” which includes new product packaging, uniforms, store designs, a mobile app, an e-menu and a prepay takeout offering.

And of course, not forgetting that bigger companies comes with a heavier inertia and requires longer time to maneuver effectively.

“I think it’s very difficult to steer such a big chain in a new direction,” he said. “And it took this situation with the antibiotics to really force them into making some fairly dramatic changes … A complete revamp of the brand is a good idea.”




How many times have you seen Coca-Cola change their can design? Be it the interface graphics or the shape of it’s cans and bottles, it remains one of the most recognized beverage in the world. With their new slimline 250 ml, Coca-Cola has collaborated with Spotify in an effort to bring their consumers the MyCoke trilogy experience all in the name of a healthier soda drink. We are due to see an integrated campaign with TVCs, outdoor as well as social media marketing. Users can also “blipp” the new can for a 3D experience while listening to music tracks via mobile devices as Coca-Cola will be working closely with Blippar. This new can is aiming to bring about not only a newer design but a series of other offerings. It is rather early to judge if this would be a successful campaign albeit the reputation of Coca-Cola. We have seen better campaigns from Coca-Cola which includes the can sharing campaign as well as the closer together campaign by Ogilvy & Mather and I love them. However, I remain skeptical on the results of this marketing effort. What is your take?

Pimp my ride!

It is amazing to see new technology and innovations every day. In order to boost their capability of printing on ANY material, Art Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil came out with the idea of printing on cars. As automobiles are generally built and assembled with different materials, it would be the most ideal case for experimenting. We see a van being taken in and sprayed to give it that awesome finish. Art Center launch an ad encouraging people to write in and the lucky ones will get their cars “Pimp Up” the way they want. Check out this cool video of how they pimp the van. They even ran it viral and online. Thus, the results of this integrated campaign is pretty compelling.

The staring incident

No longer were the rules of winning that easy especially when the prize is a very sought after smartphone. In fact, it is the Samsung S4! As you would imagined, winning something like this would be difficult and extremely challenging. Well, since the new Samsung S4 has got eye and gesture detection features, it is able to tell if you are looking at it. So in order for you to win your prize, you need to stare at it without fail for 60 minutes straight. That’s one hour without leaving that object out of sight! And to make things worse, there would be loads of distractions around you. To dramatize and distract you from winning your prize, be expected to “ignore” outlandish and bizarre events like motor bike crashes, couples squabbling, loud guitarist and even people on fire!

Again, a very good way to promote the phone features using interesting and creative campaigns. Where mobile smartphones are concerned, it is extremely fun and enjoyable to come out with ideas through the angle of smart product positioning. I do hope to see more of such creative campaigns in Singapore too!


Stop checking on the hair, dude.

Driving is definitely sheer pleasure with great german technology. The emphasis on the experience of driving is one which most of us can relate to. That kind of emotional relation draws your clients closer to your brand. There are many ways to explore when coming out with a good creative idea. Whether it is to bang on an idea that shrieks of the brand name, a comparison between brands, a bashing approach or in this case purely on the emotional aspect of the consumer. BBDO has recently done a commercial for Mercedes. We see a guy in his Mercedes-Benz cruising around while he constantly takes a glimpse of the rearview mirror. A nice blend of smoothing music on the background extrudes a sense of calmness while building up a relaxing ambient. We witness joy, satisfaction and fulfillment in him. He gets carried away and eventually something bad is ABOUT to happen. The point to note here is the emphasis on the event that might happen should he continue to skive his attention off the road. Here, we see how the car effectively place him back on track. The commercial ends with the line “When your mind wanders, ATTENTION ASSIST brings it back”. While I have to admit most automotive car commercials could be rather serious and mundane, this is quite cleverly done.

the Toy Rider

Street trials rider Danny MacAskill demonstrates his mad riding skills in this brand new film where he is seen as a toy rider in a child’s world. He has been concentrating most of his videos and projects on locations and journeys, but this time you see his world as a kid and how it has always been for him as a rider. Interesting way to illustrate the thrills and joy of being a bike rider.

Positioning yourself as another
I think one of the interesting approaches to adopt when selling a product is to portray it from another angle using another product. Have you ever challenged yourself if your product can be fit into another product category? If you could, then there is a potential to give the concept a little twist to create the interest factor. In this case, Danny portray himself as a toy and making use of the imaginary world of a child’s mind and how it would make his dream come true. By doing so, he brings his audience closer to his imagination, letting them experience his train of thoughts. A powerful way to convey his message through the use of a less conventional approach. 

Check out more of the behind the scenes making as well as the Imaginate web here.


Music post cards

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UK-based brand communications agency Uniform, piqued my curiosity with their introduction of a device that plays music from postcards. Tapping on this technology known as Printed Electronics, they could print basic electronic circuits and components onto any surface. They worked on Paper Apps making use of paper devices and conductive inks to enable the device to read and interact with the data, information and services.

The beautifully designed cards slots in so nicely on top of this sleek black box device which plays music from the cards. Best of all, users could control the music with functions that is printed on the postcards. They basically allow you to play forward or rewind even. Fantastic invention here. We are looking at a new way to buy music apart from online and the dated CD technology. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to visit a music shop packed with just postcards of music!

Mirror Mirror, on the wall…

Sharp Electronics awe us the perks of embracing innovative technology to enhance in-store shopping experience. A nice video here to demonstrate how consumers can now see themselves virtually ‘wearing’ what they may or may not be trying on at the store. The Magic Mirror was developed for UNIQLO clothing stores, empowered by a 60″ High Brightness Professional Display and launched during the Digital Signage Expo 2013. This is yet another innovative approach to further add a little bit of touch to polish up a better shopping experience. Not only does the mirror allow you to take a snapshot of yourself (or what you may be virtually wearing), it also has an accompanying tablet that syncs to your social platforms. As technology advances, we will definitely see our retail shopping behaviors and habits changing.