Flirtatious ad campaign


  • Business
  • Saturday, 11 Jun 2016

Amit: ‘To the client, it is one of their best-performing campaigns ever.’

How Universal McCann got millennials all hot and heavy for the KFC Hot and Cheezy burger

FLIRTATIOUS and trendy on the right platform were the attributes that mainly contributed to the successful advertising campaign of “How KFC engaged Malaysia’s ‘skip generation’ using programmatic technology” by media agency Universal McCann (UM).

It was not surprising then that the campaign was the Grand Prix winner at the prestigious Malaysian Media Awards (MMA) 2016 last week, as it had earlier been recognised as the “Best Campaign in Asia” at the Festival of Media Asia Pacific Awards in March.

In the campaign, UM – which was also crowned as the “Agency of the Year” at MMA 2016 – rose to its challenge of increasing the sales of the KFC Hot and Cheezy burger among millennials by switching to the YouTube platform.

Literally, according to UM managing director Amit Sutha, there would be a burger flirting in the advertisement in accordance to the YouTube video content being watched at that moment.

“These advertisement videos are served based on what people are watching. If you are watching a badminton game, then you will see an advertisement of a burger talking about badminton. The campaign has about 100 videos, where we produced new sets of videos every five days based on the current trend. We analysed the data supplied by Google and translated that into micro-behaviour segments.

“For example, about 12% of people like to watch cat-related videos, 14% are more inclined towards Indian movie content and the list goes on. This current new-age method has never been done before and we are glad it’s a success” he tells StarBizWeek.

Defining success, Amit says it does not entirely depend on accolades but sales as well.

“To the client, it is one of their best-performing campaigns ever. This was a limited time offer campaign where we needed to come in to the market, get introduced, finish the stock and move up.

“In terms of branding, we managed to get closer to the youth segment. KFC is definitely a well-trusted brand, but over time, a brand much akin to our life needs different requirements. This time around, we injected a sheen of modernity and youth.

“We are glad to see that the brand awareness among the youth has jumped by about 20 percentage points. This is a huge achievement, as competitors’ burgers are more popular among the millennials,” he says.

Amit describes 2015 as a terrific year for the agency, as it managed to perform above the industry’s average. And to be crowned “Agency of the Year 2016” after not having participated in MMA 2015 is a huge comeback for UM.

“Seriously, we expected to do well at the MMA, but to be crowned as the best is a good surprise. Our philosophy at UM is diversity drives innovation, which in turn drives businesses.

“And this diversity concept also spans across our team, which has an array of 12 to 13 nationalities.

“Going forward this year, we are working on more creative campaigns for KFC and TELEKOM MALAYSIA BHD (TM),” he says.

TM was crowned as “Advertiser of the Year” at MMA 2016.

The first runner-up behind UM at MMA 2016 was Vizeum Media Services followed by Carat Media Services in third place based on points accumulated.

MMA 2016 featured 12 distinct competing categories as well as three special awards, which included “The Advertiser of the Year Award”, “The Grand Prix Award” and “The Agency of the Year Award”. In addition to receiving national recognition, the Gold winners of all competing categories were also conferred cash prizes totalling RM180,000 via the MSA Talent Learning Programme.

On the media agency industry’s outlook in general, Amit says it is much attached to the performance of the country’s gross domestic product. “We need to be more proactive in redesigning our services if we want to see a spike in growth. For UM, we are focusing on organic growth and diversification of our services,” he says.

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