Monday, April 14, 2014

Cris vs Kris - The KFC World Cup advertising campaign is back again, trying to capture the Phenomenon.

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Brand Association
It's always nice feeling to see a brand I had an association with, surprisingly re-emerges in another spanking new advertising campaign recently that tries to capture the world's anticipation. During that time when I noticed the ad, I was strolling in the KLCC corridors from the LRT station and witnessed a series of horizontal billboards featured very prominently across the walls. High-rated TV show brands die prematurely like Malaysian Idol after only 2 seasons, and it's sad to see it go because I first achieved my worldwide fame through my Golden Shorts performance in that show that everybody from the very young to the very old remembers still so well after all these years and even went viral - reaching nearly 100 million viewers online. TV shows die but an enduring brand like KFC continues on to achieve greater brand success, how come?

The KFC client watching me during production
Repeat the Success Story
Branding renewal is very important especially for any established brand, for it needs to associate itself with a phenomenon bigger than the brand itself (not TV or film star personalities - but a PHENOMENON!). Like when KFC first hired me for their commercial, I was already phenomenally famous for my Malaysian Idol Golden Shorts video, especially the ass-spanking bit and continues to be active in acting in Malay TV dramas genre - known quite controversially in an assorted range of diverse roles from a tragic gay lover in Ampang Medikal to the extremely malicious owner of a model agency in Seribu Erti (these roles were given to me because NOBODY dares to play them). I believe I was KFC's first face to be commercially tested on film to be shown for the World Cup finals back in 2010. The World Cup is such a huge phenomenon, where countries from all over the world would compete on the football field to win that coveted golden cup. Hiring me as the face for the brand during the World Cup 2010 was a tremendous success for them because this year, again, they are pushing the same World Cup theme in their campaign. The success might also be due to the fact that the 2010 World Cup Finals actually fell on my lucky birth date 11 July.

Owning the Frenzy
KFC is extremely smart in its current advertising campaign in trying to own the World Cup football fans market by putting Cristian Ronaldo as the face of KFC.
The World Cup commercial I starred in back in 2010 was promoting the Black Pepper Chicken meal - knowing that football men loves their meat, specifically chicken meat. The advertising campaign was important for KFC back then as a testing yardstick to the World Cup fans market and also to renew its branding image in order to stay current. After the commercial I starred in was succesful, they are now hoping to capture a larger share of the market specifically in the mouths of hungry football fans worldwide - the target demographic I believed consisted mostly of football-loving men because after all the shouting and cheering at the games, these fans would die for a good finger-licking chicken meal to replenish their energy and satisfy their hunger pangs. See, I'm not just a phenomenal face on screen, I can think too.

* BMW Film Awards Best Actor
* Jury Duty
Worldwide Photo Exhibit
Endorsement Value
World Cup KFC commercial
Controversial but Most-Watched Episode
The Golden Shorts Fame

Personally, I love this kind of renewal of the branding spirit because it connects me in a very deep spiritual way. I may be a financially poor, abandoned, "unknown" artiste in my country, but experiencing this hype through this KFC ad campaign makes me feel richer than everyone else, in every way, anywhere in the world. I feel rejuvenated because I know a small part of me have a strong hand in moulding it and for that I know I will rise up again like the phoenix after 4 years in the ashes. This small part of me will continue to live on even after I died. Since I was the face of KFC before, seeing this legacy of World Cup fever continues to live on through this current ad campaign is like me passing the Olympian torch of life to another person, specifically right now to Cristiano Ronaldo. Coincidentally, my name is also Kris, except I'm not Portugese but proudly a Malaysian daring to change for a better future.