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20 January 2022
How KFC grew market share by respecting its rivals
Brand characterUnited Kingdom
KFC, the quick service restaurant (QSR) chain, drew inspiration from mafia movie “The Godfather” in a campaign that treated imitation brands with respect while affirming the superiority of its own fried chicken.
KFC was the UK’s second favourite quick service restaurant, and its market share was one third the size of that held by McDonald’s.
The brand was also losing share to cheaper, independent competitors.
To elevate itself above the competition, KFC knew that it didn’t need to dominate the entire QSR category; it just needed to be top of the fried chicken vertical.
However, many of KFC’s competitors had been directly inspired by the chicken brand and were overtly imitating it.
The campaign drew a parallel between KFC’s founder, the Colonel, and Vito Corleone from the mob film “The Godfather”, who places great emphasis on respect.
KFC launched a film in which the Colonel drives through the UK’s chicken-shop-lined streets in a red vintage car to the backdrop of the “Godfather” theme, inspiring awe and reverence from those he passes.
The film’s voiceover muses over the number of imitators out there as the Colonel passes them before he arrives at KFC for superior fried chicken.
KFC increased penetration by 6.3%, reversing a two-year downward trend, and increased the average transaction value by 3%.
The campaign increased KFC’s market share by 6.2%.
The work won Gold in the 2021 APG Creative Strategy Awards.