At first glance these may look like three separate entities, but look a little closer into youth culture today and you will see that they are inseparably tangled together. Grime stars love gaming; they love talking about it online and they love writing music about gaming.

The gaming elite have reciprocated this inter-genre love; KSI – gamer and most influential YouTuber in the UK – has even collaborated on grime tune ‘Lamborghini’ with P Money, which has amassed more than 61m views.

This blossoming friendship between two of the biggest and hottest UK cultures has been played out publicly across a combined social network that reaches approximately 60% of the UK’s 16-24s.

So how does KFC fit into this? Where you find grime and gaming, you find KFC mentioned constantly, both in lyrics or proclaimed as the ultimate fuel for gaming, making it a natural part of the conversation.

So when KFC challenged us to create an initiative to connect with a youth audience across digital platforms, we knew that this was the cultural opportunity to go after, especially as this age group is leading the charge against online advertising, with nearly half (47%) using adblockers – up 15% in a year. (Source: YouGov 2016)

We wanted to find a unique slant on gaming that felt right for KFC, a brand that connects people in the real world. Social conversations revealed that the rise of online multi-player gaming, as cool and big as it might be, has somewhat undermined the old-school way of having weekend long gaming sessions, hanging out with your mates on the sofa, a split-screen and lots of food.

We decided to bring back the thing that made gaming great in the first place by creating the Colonel’s Couch. A gaming sofa designed to unite friends over their favourite games and food. So on the 27th November, KFC hosted a gaming tournament that saw the biggest names in grime and gaming battle it out for a lifetime’s supply of KFC.

With traditional OLA declining in reach, we wondered whether live broadcast, connecting straight to the customer, could offer us a marketing opportunity. We decided to partner with Facebook and stream the event ‘live’ so that our broader KFC audience could witness this epic game/griming battle.

While watching people game online might seem a strange concept to some, we know that eSports is one of the world’s fastest growing sports with a global audience of 256m people growing at 13% YOY (Source: Newzuoo 2016).

And the results spoke for themselves. By shortcutting traditional media, KFC reached 87% its target audience, with the live stream reaching 2.7 million people. Within the first 48 hours we had 3,800 comments, 77% of which expressed joy for what they just witnessed.

This campaign enforced the existing cultural associations between this demographic, eating occasion and KFC. At a fraction of the price of TV. The long term effect of this broadcast is yet to be measured, but we are already planning no.2. Why? Because if you create and share something that people love, you don’t have to worry too much about adblocking.



Authors: Tom Hargreaves, Strategist BBH Live & Lucian Trestler, Strategy Director BBH