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KFC makes location focal point in latest mobile advertising endeavor

KFC is making sure consumers know about its new boneless chicken products and are able to find the nearest location to try them out via a targeted mobile advertising effort.

The company is running the campaign within Pandora?s iPhone application. The fast food giant has relied on mobile advertising heavily in the past to promote new products, drive in-store traffic and build brand awareness.

?Web sites and apps that have access to the user?s exact location typically sell their ad space at a premium,? said Shuli Lowy, marketing director at Ping Mobile.

?When launching a mobile campaign, marketers must decide whether they wish to pay a higher CPM/CPC to get a more finely-tuned locational targeting in their ad buys,? she said. ?Incorporating different levels of geo-targeting into a mobile campaign requires an understanding of the locational value aligned with the product.

?For example: consumers will easily travel five to ten miles to go to a car dealership; however, most will not do the same to catch a quick bite to eat.?

Ms. Lowy is not affiliated with KFC. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

KFC did not respond to press inquiries.

Interchangeable engagement
The KFC mobile ad interchanges and the creative reads ?MMM?Original Recipe,? ?I Think I Ate the Bones,? ?The Amazing Taste of Original Recipe,? ?Now Available Without the Bones,? ?Try 4 Pieces in a 10-Piece Mixed Bucked. $14.99,? ?Limited time offer at participating KFC restaurants,? and ?Go Boneless.?

Each mobile ad creative includes how many miles away the nearest KFC location is.

Furthermore, the mobile ad campaign links with what the company is doing via its TV ad spots. For example, the mobile effort includes the same actor in the commercial, as well as a similar script.

Once users tap on the mobile ad, they are redirected to a mobile-optimized landing page where they can view the address of the closest KFC location, as well as a click-to-call button below.

There is also an exclusive offer below, which consumers can save to their mobile device.

Through the mobile campaign, consumers are also able to view a map to see how far away the nearest location is, browse store details and call the KFC store to inquire further on the deal.

By using location, KFC is able to segment certain consumers and, ultimately, increase foot traffic.

Mobile evolution
Over the past years KFC has been cementing its place in the mobile marketing arena.

Last year, KFC ran an interactive mobile advertising campaign that not only promoted its new Chunky Chicken Pot Pie, but enticed consumers to engage with the product on a deeper level via a branded Pandora radio station (see story).

Most recently, the fast food giant entered the mobile payments arena with a mobile and Web application that lets users place an order and pay for it using their smartphone (see story).

?Fast food restaurants carry one of the lowest levels of locational tolerance. If a fast food restaurant is far away, most people will skip it,? Ms. Lowy said. ?Accordingly, it is important for a restaurant such as KFC to make sure they are only targeting an audience that is within a close proximity to one of their chains.

?Furthermore, it?s valuable for the brand to communicate the close proximity to the ad viewers to give the end user an additional incentive to click on the ad. KFC's ad is telling the viewer ?It's simple; we're right around the corner ? so just hop on in,'? she said.

?The landing page is extremely well-structured; it provides the most useful information the consumer likely needs along with a promotion to give the user one last incentive to come to the store. The address and phone number are boldly displayed and the phone number is clickable ? allowing the end-user to quickly call the chain and get any additional information he or she may need. No doubt, this campaign will drive purchasing traffic to the KFC stores.?

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York