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KFC is serving a unique formula

January 17, 2011 15:29 IST

Snacking is largely about fun and to ride on the fun aspect fast food company KFC has added an innovative new product on its menu - chicken popcorn- small morsels of boneless chicken, battered and fried.

Indeed, the company has shown a lot of aggression over the past one year, adding new products and opening new outlets.

It launched the vegetarian Zinger burger 15 years after venturing into India, and the Krushers range of chilled beverages in 2010.

The new product was soft-launched in September 2010. The final roll out took place in mid-December last year. The product is being supported by a national campaign. As popcorn is an on-the-go handy snack associated strongly with movie-watching, the tag line for the campaign says, "Movie yahan hai popcorn kahan hain".

The new campaign takes its inspiration from various situations youngsters find themselves in. KFC Director (marketing) Unnat Varma says, "The new commercial builds on the insight that there are filmy moments in our lives every day, and a spicy snack just lifts the moment to make it more enjoyable."

For its creative agency, Ogilvy & Mather (O&M), the brief was to send the message across to the target group - teenagers - that a new snacking product from KFC is on the shelves.

O&M Executive Chairman & Creative Director (South Asia) Piyush Pandey says: "Taking inspiration from the movie-popcorn connect, we decided to bring alive the filmy moments in a youngster's life in this campaign in a refreshing way."

The television commercial (TVC) revolves around three teenagers in a moving car, one of them accompanied by his father. The drama unfolds as the father asks his son about his examination scores.

While the son hesitates, his friends stop by at a KFC outlet on the side of the road and buy a tumbler of chicken popcorn.

The two friends in the back seat enjoy a filmy moment as the father scolds his son for not informing him about his examination scores.

While the TVC went on air last month, an outdoor and an online campaign have been launched in January this year. They will run for a month or so. KFC is also finalising plans to expand its footprint across the country.

It has 100 stores now, and aims to reach 500 by 2015. It also plans to increase its presence from 21 cities to around 75 cities in India by 2015.

Chicken popcorn is available in most markets that KFC operates the world over. Then why did it take so long to launch the variant in India? Varma says, "We took a while to understand the technical aspects, and for developing this product here. According to an internal research, most of the eating-out occasions in India is about snacking. Thus, KFC's chicken popcorn will cater to the huge market of snack food in India that has poochkaas in the eastern part, papdi chaat and paao bhaji in the western part, to name a few."

The company expects the campaign to increase brand saliency, and to strengthen its recall.

"KFC is also open to tying up with partners such as multiplex-owners for the new product," says Varma adding, "As no other player offers the combination of chicken and popcorn, we expect the path for us to be a bit smoother."


Arunima Mishra in New Delhi