KFC Middle East launched a social campaign that simulated a drive-thru experience in-between posts in the feed. Dubbed the “Scroll Thru,” KFC’s campaign swapped a traditional ad for an interactive food ordering experience.
Social media users that encounter the Scroll Thru in their feed will be greeted by a virtual drive-thru attendant, who will suggest menu items they might like. Users are then able to view the menu and place an order instantly. The experience is available in both English and Arabic.
“We have always been part of many people’s moments, and today people spend most of their time scrolling through their feed on social media,” said Ozge Zoralioglu, chief marketing officer, YUM! Brands\KFC MENA Turkey and Pakistan in a statement. “We want to still be part of their lives and keep what we deliver easy and relevant to what they need.”
Americana Quality opened the first KFC restaurant in the Middle East in 1973. KFC now has more restaurants internationally than inside the US and according to Yum!, United Arab Emirates was one of its top 25 global markets in 2018. The Middle East, as a whole, may only account for four percent of KFC brand earnings, but that figure has grown 12 percent YoY.
KFC has gained a reputation in recent years for over the top marketing campaigns from launching a sandwich into space to giving scholarships to babies named after Harland Sanders and selling unusual merchandise like chicken-scented logs and Colonel Sanders romance novels.
Gimmicks aside, the Scroll Thru campaign takes a practical approach to reach Arab consumers where they live—online.
The Middle East is experiencing a social media boom thanks, in part, to its large and digitally-savvy youth population. In a 2017 survey, Pew Research Center noted high levels of social media usage in the Middle East compared with other regions, despite the fact that Isreal is the only country with an advanced economy.
Social media offers brands a place to connect with consumers when they are engaged and looking for inspiration. HootSuite’s 2018 global social media report found that marketers are integrating social commerce into their strategies, but many still hesitate.
Just over a quarter of respondents said they have either implemented social commerce or plan to do so in the next 12 months and 17 percent said the same about shoppable galleries. In addition, 64 percent of respondents have either implemented Instagram Stories into their social media strategy or plan to do so over the next year.