KFC acting CMO labels Family Food Fight sponsorship ‘total disaster’, with brand preparing for end of free TV

Nine’s take on the reality cooking format, Family Food Fight, has been labelled a “total disaster” by KFC’s acting chief marketing officer, Annabel Fribence, who said the fast food brand didn’t get the reach it was hoping for by aligning with the program.

Speaking to the audience at Mumbrella’s Retail Marketing Summit, Fribence said KFC – one of the sponsors of Family Food Fight – has now halved its television budget.

Fribence: “It’s very much about preparing for the day free-to-air TV is potentially turned off”

“We have halved our TV budget, TV is still a very cost effective way to get reach and it’s a beautiful channel to drive emotion, but we all know it is getting more expensive and it’s getting harder and harder,” she said.

“We backed in Family Food Fight, total disaster, and you miss your reach, you need to make sure you roll your bets correctly – so really trying to figure out how to take ourselves off the drug of TV for the future. It’s very much about protecting that future growth and protecting our future sales so we can continue to drive sales.”

Family Food Fight premiered in late October last year and captured a metro audience of 614,000. Nine has since said even though the show didn’t get the numbers it was hoping for, the audience was extremely engaged and loyal to the program.

The acting CMO told the audience 90% of the brand’s media buy goes to the “retail engine” – the spots which are driving the sales results.

Fribence said the majority of what consumers are viewing is the retail work, referring to a brand campaign as a “moment in time that costs a bomb and is quickly forgotten”.

As a result of the decreased free-to-air television spend, Fribence said KFC has tried to figure out how to drive sales results through out-of-home, social media and by further understanding the role of radio.

“It’s very much about preparing for the day free-to-air TV is potentially turned off,” she added.


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