KFC has launched its first ever brand ad, abandoning its previous focus on sharing chicken with friends and family, and resurrecting Plucka Duck – a popular character from iconic Australian variety show, Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
The work, by Ogilvy, moves the brand away from its traditional product to offer led advertising into a new realm where there is no mention of KFC until the very end.
It also resurrects KFC’s famous ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ tagline.
Both ads – a 30 and 60 seconds version – show Plucka Duck, made famous as the prize-giving character on the popular variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday, which ran from 1971 to 1999, skateboarding down a winding mountain road to the thumping 1964 track ‘Surfin’ Bird’ by the Trashmen.
At the end of the ad Plucka stops to take in the view as the super reads: ‘Life should always be… Finger Lickin’ Good’.
Ogilvy group creative director Shaun Branagan admitted that some people might find the new KFC ad confusing after years of product advertising.
“We realise that many people might see the creative and think ‘What? A duck on a skateboard for KFC?’,” said Branagan.
“But for a brand that traditionally has focused on its food and a company with a history of being original, it was important [that] KFC’s first foray into brand advertising was designed to provoke.
“As a result, the first element of the campaign is a deliberate mash-up of pop culture icons – the mischievous Plucka Duck, who was always up for a stunt, no matter how madcap, and longboard skateboarding which encapsulates sheer exhilaration and freedom.
“All set to a legendary surf punk music track that was a smash hit in its day and, more recently, on Family Guy, with the lyrics ‘the bird is the word’ which, of course, is Aussie slang for KFC.”
KFC chief marketing and development officer Nikki Lawson, said the time had come to place the marketing focus on the brand.
“We know that Australians love KFC’s chicken but we wanted to ensure that affection extended to the KFC brand itself. So we looked to its founder, Colonel Sanders, to get to the heart of what the KFC brand stands for,” said Lawson.
The campaign launches on TV this weekend and will be followed by cinema and online support in coming weeks.
Strategy and creative – Ogilvy Sydney
Shaun Branagan – Creative Director
Scott Sparks – Senior Art Director
Jenny Mak – Senior Copywriter
Ryan O’Connell – Deputy Head of Strategy
Executive Business Director – Leigh Bignell
Group Account Director – Katie Dally
Account Director –Elaine Arthur
Account Manager – Anna Michael
Media Planning and Buying – Mediacom
PR – Edelman
Production Company – Interrogate
Director – Ash Bolland
Executive Producer – Tara Riddell
DOP – Lachlan Milne
Editorial – The Editors
Online – Cutting Edge
VFX Artist – Jonathan Hairman
Producer – Aaron Dexter
Audio Post – Rumble Studios
Sound Engineer – Nat Joyce
Producer – Jessica Hamilton
Agency Producer – Amanda Bennie