KFC strikes to be closer to the young generation in China, hence gaming is an important strategy pillar for the fast food giant. But how can KFC not only stand out, and more importantly, be genuine with our approach to gamers?
In 2015, KFC pioneered game-brand collaboration with a one-click delivery button in China's biggest video game League of Legend.
Since 2015, gaming, once niche, became a major passion point for young adults in China. (24% yoy penetration growth among 16-30 y.o. in China. Source: CNRS) Many brands have worked with games for an opportunity to speak to their target audience.
But not all gaming collaboration were received well. Many collaborations were critiqued to be "taking the fun out of the game", ruining the experience of gamers' favorite games.
The game Onmyoji, based on Japanese ghost hunting stories, took the youth by storm in spring 2017. It's a role-playing battle game where gamers hunt down ghosts, train and turn them into your secret weapons. 'Ghosts' are the most prized possessions in the game.
The game gained over 10 million monthly active users in 2 months. Every brand wanted to be part of the craze. We did too. But what can KFC bring to Onmyoji, and the fans of the game? We have to bring value to the fans of the game, not exploiting their love for the game.
We turned the 5,000 KFC stores into real "ghost-hunting" battle playgrounds for gamers.
First, to get gamers to KFC stores, we incorporated 5,000 KFC locations into the game's LBS system. Gamers can find the most sought-after, limited-edition 'ghosts' only in KFC stores.
Once in store, gamers can also invite friends in the game to hunt down in-store 'ghosts' so the impact is further amplified.
In store, we turned one of the most popular activities in game - a lucky draw system - into an unmissable real-life experience. Instead of just using the usual redeeming system, we created augmented reality redeeming system along with the developers of the game.
Gamers can scan key scenes in the game, and the special 'ghosts' would emerge in AR format. They can scan another gamer's screen, or the table mat in KFC stores. The bigger size of the picture scanned, the bigger the AR 'ghosts' are.
We printed super-size versions of the scenes, and put them in KFC stores, as well as metro station exits leading to KFC stores. When scanned, super-size AR versions of 'ghosts' appear, and provide gamers an opportunity to be in the same photo with their favorite 'ghosts'.
We also decorated KFC stores with elements from the game, cosplayers, and more. On social platforms, we extended the plot in the games, and created additional comics based on the game that fans just cannot get enough of!!