KFC is a global brand competing with agile, aggressive local quick-service chains. To connect authentically with young consumers in South Africa, KFC created the Soundbite Music Chart, a live, mobile-based music chart influenced by social sharing and in-store purchases.
Objective and Context:
KFC is a global brand competing with agile, aggressive local quick-service chains. South Africa is a top market in this battle. In a sluggish economy, a premium priced brand like KFC loses customers to these rivals, especially among the key youth market. How do you get someone whose entire identity and life stage is based on changing their mind to choose KFC over the store next door?
Smart, connected, mobile, price conscious, brand-literate, and suspicious of traditional marketing, the youth segment in South Africa mirrors most global urban markets, comprising a spectrum of languages, cultures, races, and economic circumstance. With 800 stores covering the entire country, KFC’s challenge was to create one solution that would be equally compelling for this diverse market.
The simple answer is music. But the market is crowded with brands and content. After two years of prototyping and playing with the market in test stores, KFC stopped looking at the artists and took a long hard look at the audience.
Behind the newly-minted internet and talent show stars are a whole generation of artists who are hustling to make their dreams come true. More importantly, they are creating music that is raw, real, relevant, and hyper-local. The social currency attained through connecting with sounds that no one else has heard is massive.
KFC created Soundbite Music Chart, a way to connect its audience with unsigned artists, through a live, mobile-based chart influenced by social sharing and in-store purchases.
Overall Campaign Execution:
The KFC Soundbite Chart is a fully integrated and digitally-driven music chart. Anyone can submit their track. Anyone can listen. The audience moves artists up and down the chart by listening and sharing the music they connect with on social, and purchasing meals in-store.
A playlist committee selects 50 new tracks each week from the open submissions, and each chosen demo is then cut into 30 “soundbites” and loaded onto the chart. If customers like a track, they can share it; if they really like it, they can download it for free with a mobile voucher received with every purchase.
KFC used its media to push the artists in real time, from on-air coverage, WeTransfer ads, banners, and TV show integration to sponsorships, social media, and YouTube pre-rolls. Even local KFC stores pushed the music via the digital menu boards. Every purchase transaction influenced the chart and, crucially, gave money back to the artists.
The chart lives where the market lives: on mobile. While the mobile website is simple and intuitive, the mobile interface represents a massive, dynamic ecosystem that connects digital in-store displays, three separate point-of-sale systems, mobile vouchers, social media analytics, paid media, and in-show television content.
The key youth meal volumes have been positively affected by the introduction of Soundbite. In the first month, KFC was able to provide local unsigned artists more than 15 million fans. When the campaign launched on digital, it drove an immediate 28 million impressions on display. The campaign earned 996,000 video views with more than 151,000 campaign clicks in four weeks.