Chilly Marion Island is the rugged setting for campaign that culminates in cinematic TV ad

Chilly Marion Island is the rugged setting for campaign that culminates in cinematic TV ad
Marion Island

Researchers on remote island voyage over 2,000km for the taste of KFC

Chilly Marion Island is the rugged setting for campaign that culminates in cinematic TV ad

Just how far will people go for the taste of KFC? That was the key question when Ogilvy South Africa and KFC announced the launch of an integrated ‘Beyond the Sea’ campaign inspired by the South Africans who spend more than a year on remote Marion Island in service of science.

The campaign follows the phenomenally successful introduction of KFC’s “unofficial taste inspector” and amplifies the message that people are willing to do just about anything for South Africa’s favourite taste.

Marion Island, the tip of an undersea volcano 2,209km south-east of Cape Town, is one of South Africa’s farthest-flung territories. It’s the chilly base for teams of researchers who spend 13 months at a time there studying seabirds, seals, meteorology and space.

KFC’s campaign began with teasers – ham radio messages that suddenly interrupted FM radio shows across the country and featured the voice of Mzuli Ntuli reporting on his voyage from Marion Island to Cape Town in a dinghy.

In the launch phase of the campaign, it emerges that Ntuli and colleague, Samantha, undertook the voyage because they were missing the taste of KFC. The campaign depicts them going to extreme lengths to reach the mainland. “They are escorted by dolphins, battle seasickness and face incredibly rough seas,” says KFC Africa Chief Marketing Officer Grant Macpherson.

The culmination of the campaign is a cinematic masterpiece depicting life on Marion Island, video calls with friends enjoying KFC in South Africa and the moment the duo set sail – clutching a KFC shopping list from their fellow islanders.

Macpherson says most South Africans pining for KFC are unlikely to experience the same difficulties as the fictional Marion Island researchers.

“With 1,100 restaurants across the country, the irresistible taste of KFC is never far away,” he says. “But we know that our customers will go to great lengths for our finger-lickin’ good food and we wanted to honour that devotion in a great story.

“When we discovered that there’s a part of South Africa where you can’t get the taste of KFC and that a group of people give up a year of their lives to live and work there, we realised we had the scenario for an epic adventure in the turbulent Atlantic Ocean.”

Macpherson says the initial unbranded component of the campaign gave Marion Island scientists the opportunity to talk about their work, which involves saving threatened and endangered species and studying climate change and even the origins of the universe.
“The gaming and activation phase of the campaign over the next two months will allow every KFC lover to get involved – with delicious prizes along the way and many engagement opportunities,” he says.

Watch the Beyond the Sea TVC here

About KFC Africa

KFC has been in South Africa for over 53 years and has more than 1,300 stores across the continent. The first KFC restaurant in South Africa opened in 1971 in Orange Grove, Johannesburg. KFC is the leading quick-service restaurant brand in South Africa with just under a third of market share, according to Brand Image Tracker. KFC serves more than 20 million customers a month and we work hard to ensure that no matter which of our restaurants they walk into, they will get that distinctive KFC flavour and have a great experience. KFC’s Original Recipe® Chicken was first made by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1940 when he perfected his secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices at his restaurant in Kentucky. Today, KFC is the world’s most popular chicken restaurant, still preparing our chicken with the Colonel’s secret recipe to his exact standards. Every KFC restaurant follows the same global processes and procedures to ensure that our customers get great-tasting food, every time.

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