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KFC makes click-to-store locator core mobile advertising metric

Kentucky Fried Chicken is sticking with location as a key part of a new mobile advertising campaign that uses a combination of expandable, banner and audio ads to drive foot traffic.

KFC is using several different types of mobile ads within the Pandora iPhone application to drive awareness for the new Go Cup snacks. The fast food giant worked with media agency MEC on the mobile ad campaign.

“Everything we ran on Pandora for mobile had the same messaging,” said Drew Harris, senior director of digital at MEC, London.

“We utilized multiple executions in order to maximize our presence across the property and reach users at different points of their Pandora experience,” he said.

“Click-to-store locator has been the core metric for success for KFC mobile ads to date. “

On-the-go diners?
The Go Cup, which was announced last month, gives consumers several choices in what they want to fill up a snack-sized cup with for $2.49 plus tax. The options are: Four original recipe bites, three hot wings, two Extra Crispy Tenders, one piece of Original Recipe Boneless chicken or a Chicken Little sandwich.

KFC ran tile and banner ads to increase brand awareness and also picked expandable ads for a more engaging experience that complemented audio ads.

One set of expandable ads highlights a built-in ZIP code feature next to an image of the Go Cup product.

Consumers are prompted to automatically type in their ZIP code to pull the location data of nearby stores directly into the ad itself.

A similar ad format was recently used by Jack in the Box last month, highlighting the work that quick-service restaurants are doing in mobile to make the process of finding a nearby store as frictionless as possible for consumers (see story).

Another set of banner ads simply shows a picture of the Go Cup products next to copy that displays the price. When consumers click through on these ads, the store locator page on KFC’s mobile site is pulled up.

There are also links to the fast food giant’s social network sites, such as Instagram where KFC has developed video for the Go Cup marketing push.

From there, consumers can find directions to nearby stores, look for nearby coupons and sign up for KFC’s email newsletters.

KFC is also running audio ads between songs that promote the new product.

By using a variety of ad formats, KFC is likely to grab the attention of more consumers, especially with the audio component.

Location is only one part of KFC’s mobile advertising strategy though, per Mr. Harris. Timing the ad to appear at the right time to trigger a quick sale is equally as important.

“Day-parting tends to work best for KFC,” Mr. Harris said.

“Reaching users right before lunch or dinner hours tend to drive the best response and engagement rates,” he said.

Location is everything?
Similar to other QSRs, KFC has used mobile advertising quite a few times in the past to drive product awareness and foot traffic.

In June, the brand ran a location-based ad campaign to promote its new boneless chicken products (see story).

KFC has also dabbled in international mobile ordering with an app in Britain that led to 90 percent of consumers placing orders via mobile (see story).

“Location is key for many businesses, especially QSRs. Often, a mobile subscriber makes an impulse buy so being there in the moment is obviously important,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of Mobivity, Phoenix.

Mr. Hasen is not affiliated with KFC, He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

“Advertising is one way to do it and having interactive experiences capitalizes on a mobile user’s behaviors and interests,” he said. “Beyond advertising, we see lots of success with mobile loyalty clubs and apps.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York