How KFC Integrated Creative Quality into Their Marketing Effectiveness Assessments

How can a campaign delivered 1.5x sales uplift and 1.4x increased ROI? Learn how KFC partnered with Kantar to get those results!
23 October 2023
How can a campaign delivered 1.5x sales uplift and 1.4x increased ROI? Learn how KFC partnered with Kantar to get those results!

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All too often in marketing effectiveness we focus on placement and response without taking a quantitative look at creative quality. This is a huge miss as Kantar research shows that creative quality has a 30% contribution to sales. And it is an absolute myth that creative testing and assessment are “too squishy” to measure. Ads can be pre-tested through online panels, and those results incorporated into the model which quantifies the impact of copy quality and how it builds not just sales, but the brand.  
Here’s what you can learn from this. 
“To leverage advertising effectively, as much focus should be in what you say as how much you spend.”

Why Test Creative? 

The reality is that all the optimization possible will only be most effective if you determine whether the creative itself is resonating with target consumers. What do we mean by creative quality? It is advertising content dissociated from its media container – or the creative quality as perceived by consumers surveyed. 
Today, few econometric models include creative quality, mainly due to media fragmentation and lack of data. Moreover, marketers are aware of this, since 42% of them say they do little or nothing to test the creative quality of their campaigns. We also know that creative has a 49% contribution to salience and contributes 4% to ROI. 
Kantar’s UMMO (Unified Media Measurement and Optimization) model integrates media performance and also weighted the creative score obtained to isolate media and creative impact. From a quantitative point of view, very good quality creative copy generates 72% lift in incremental sales vs. average TV copy with the same budget. This optimization lever enables you to better allocate investments per creative to maximize the ROI of your media plan.  
Simply put, you'll need less budget if the copy is very good to achieve your objectives vs. average copy. These insights are extremely valuable as they enable you to optimize your investments not exclusively by media, but by creative quality. 

Why Now?  

Creative Matters More Than Ever 

Where the average split between media and creative budgets is usually 80/20, we can see that in 2021, creative will account for 27% of the total TV effect. Thus, isolating the impact of creative quality also makes it possible to compare the budget share allocated to the media and to the creative.

How Does it Work? AI Informs the Process 

Using AI, Link AI can predict in 15 minutes how a TV or digital video ad will perform. The results are returned in an intuitive analytics dashboard. Our clients are quickly and simultaneously processing high volumes of creative to test more advertising than ever before. Link AI is trained on the extensive Kantar Link database so we can ensure similar results for the same validated metrics.  

KFCs approach:

In 2023, their main objective was to maximize their product offering and build a strong and relevant innovation plan. To do that, they analyzed their competitors. Their main competitor, Burger King, had significantly larger core range with more than 28 SKUs.

Going deeper into each product category they identified white spaces in their current offering. They had only one sandwich with a menu price between 5 and 8€ while the competition had four. Given current inflation, it’s mandatory to have a stronger affordable offer. They also could not compete in the premium category with Burger King. 
While they could not instantly expand the product range, they could react with targeted creative and media. They decided to increase their media budget on social platforms with a focus on TikTok and Snapchat. They knew they needed different formats to reach, engage and convert their targets. The goal was to create a consistent cross channel strategy with distinctive phrasing to optimize all brand KPIs (visibility, consideration, and traffic). Using Link AI, they were able to improve creative quality and give priority to brand and core campaigns while reducing the weight of value activations, especially those on TV. They increased the visibility of long formats used in every media while implementing a reminder with short formats.

The Outcome:

KFC was able to score creatives at the speed they needed to make decisions. They maximized ROI and developed the right allocation of media and creative budgets; UMMO presented a step forward in modeling and included access to data on a tech platform. 
The UMMO technology provided a game-changing innovation in the prediction and optimization of the media strategy since they had a complete representation of the marketing ecosystem. They were able to reconcile the costs between their media and creative agencies. 
Budget levels were determined according to creative quality. Today, if there is a drop in the marketing budget, due to inflation for example, they can optimize media budget allocation by considering the significant new lever, creative quality.

Results by the Numbers

Delivering actionable recommendations, KFC was able to reallocate media investments; develop an effective cross-channel strategy and deliver returns on their increased digital media spend by implementing channel-specific formats. The campaign delivered 1.5x sales uplift and 1.4x increased ROI.

Want more like this?

Read: How UMMO works for Auto

Read: The art of creating ads that last

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