Delivering KFC’s biggest tweet of the year for its World Cup 2022 campaign

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As part of the brand’s World Cup 2022 activation, KFC challenged us to use the power of reactive social to hero KFC Delivery across Instagram and Twitter

Our response? KFC’s top tweet of 2022 (and second biggest ever), a gamified Instagram Story format that sent engagement rates skyrocketing, and unique loveable rogue-style commentary that cemented brand love in an ultra-competitive - and at times controversial - space.

The client

A global leader in the fast food category, KFC is synonymous with fried chicken no matter where you are in the world. Established in 1952 in Kentucky, US, KFC now has over 20,000 locations globally in 150 countries. KFC is famed for its often imitated, never duplicated menu item: Original Recipe chicken made with 11 secret herbs and spices.

Services

  • Client and project management
  • Creative
  • Social media management
  • Design

The brief

Using the power of reactive social, we set our sights on driving modernity and consideration by aligning KFC Delivery with key in-game, sporting and cultural moments as they happen throughout the World Cup.

Challenges

England’s journey in the campaign came to an end at the quarter finals. But that didn’t stop us from seeing impressive figures on tweets surrounding the other teams. In fact, most of our biggest tweets by engagements and impressions were about international teams.

Although we maintained majority neutral or positive sentiment around delivery (87.4%), we saw minor negative sentiment online. This was mainly due to app issues and long delivery times. To combat this, we pivoted the Twitter conversation towards something positive: free delivery codes following England’s 2-1 quarter final loss.

Twitter’s football fan community can be tricky to navigate, with jibes, negative sentiment and a preconception that brands are too critical of players. We knew that for our World Cup commentary to play to emotions in the right way, we needed to be controversial without being cruel.

How we did it

Three objectives formed the basis of our World Cup organic social strategy: attention, advocacy and association.

Our attention-focused objective was to offer a unique commentary by inserting our loveable rogue tone in ultra-reactive moments.

For advocacy, we needed to be humour-led, bold and outspoken, especially on contested topics within the fan sphere. A policy of bold, opinion-led content lended itself nicely to authentic audience interactions and shares.

And for association, we tasked ourselves with turning up unexpectedly during the World Cup’s big moments. At the core of the wider brief was driving awareness for KFC Delivery, so we inserted messaging around this and other menu items where appropriate.

Our approach

As the perfect second-screening platform for football fans, Twitter was the driving force behind this campaign. Reactivity was crucial, so we set up a game room to live tweet reactive content as it happened for 13 games, including the biggest matches of the tournament.

Whilst Twitter presented the perfect platform for KFC to be present during key moments, Instagram Stories let us utilise native features to drive association between KFC and the World Cup.

We created three unique formats: Milestone Moments, The People’s Pundit, and The Ultimate Match-up. Whether we offered a free KFC Delivery for competition milestones, or let fans predict what was to come, we developed a two-way interaction through clean, gamified stories. These stories contributed 31,184 engagements and were viewed 215K+ times.

To hero KFC Delivery on Twitter, we used a “reply with #KFCDelivery” giveaway mechanic to drive brand association with World Cup celebrations. This also generated advocacy and earned awareness of KFC’s delivery offering.

Tapping into widely discussed moments effectively drove attention. We learned that leaning into conversations within active fanbases like Manchester United and Liverpool was a great way for us to go where conversation was already flourishing. Our David De Gea post was one of our strongest performing posts with 1.3M+ organic impressions, 42K+ organic engagements and a 3.1% ER. We knew this tweet would perform well due to Manchester United fans’ divided stance on the player, so offering an opinion immediately drove attention and advocacy.

Despite having several big wins throughout the campaign, the standout was our Cristiano Ronaldo reactive. This was our top performing tweet, not just throughout the World Cup campaign, but of 2022, with 12.9M+ impressions and 238K+ engagements. It’s also KFC’s second biggest tweet of all time.

The comedic value of the tweet, a playful reference to a lesser-known, high-performing player, was a great driver of attention and by offering our opinion, we attracted fan responses, boosting advocacy. The post not only went viral on social, it also featured on major news outlets like Apple News, TalkSport and the Manchester Evening News.

Where we felt it was a natural fit, we mentioned menu items in our content to build association. The audience responded positively with the tweets achieving 335K+ impressions and 10K+ engagements.

With the team at Social Chain, we found a truly distinctive way to insert KFC Delivery into some of the biggest moments of the World Cup to get attention and drive relevancy for the brand. Our live game rooms on Twitter allowed us to react quickly to in-game moments, whilst our approach to Instagram Stories meant we could harness the hype and excitement around coming matches and maximise engagement. Together, we delivered some amazing results to ensure cut-through and drive awareness of KFC Delivery throughout the World Cup. And we even made headlines!

~Andrew Hendry, Social Media Manager, KFC UK & Ireland

Our text-based David De Gea tweet was our best performing by engagements and impressions, plus its 3.1% ER was above our Q3 benchmark of 2% for copy-based tweets.

With 1,243 engagements, primarily driven through the poll Sticker, our Instagram Story on the Wales vs. USA match was the most-engaged Story throughout the campaign. Reaching 3,464 users, the story also saw an impressive 35.88% engagement rate.

The results

  • 18m organic impressions
  • 440k organic engagements
  • 35.88% ER (Instagram Stories)
  • 126k total views (Twitter)
  • 10k mentions