‘Dream win’ for Rapp as agency feasts on KFC account

KFC_2KFC has handed its CRM and customer loyalty account for the UK and Ireland to Rapp, succeeding Iris, which has handled the business for the past four years but declined to repitch.

The appointment follows a three-way contest with Havas and MRM in a process that kicked off in February and was handled by AAR.

Rapp will take on all activity for KFC’s delivery and click-and-collect business, as well as the brand’s loyalty scheme, The Colonel’s Club.

Launched in the UK in 2015, the Colonel’s Club is now an app based scheme which enables customers to collect “stamps” every time they spend over £3 in the UK or €5 in Ireland, and an additional one when they spend over £15 in the UK or €22 in Ireland in a single purchase.

The stamps can be redeemed for free food and drink rewards, plus exclusive offers from KFC. The scheme is understood to have about 2 million members.

The Omnicom shop – which gobbled up Proximity London last year – will also worked alongside with Mother, which landed the KFC advertising account in 2017; Mindshare won the media account in 2019.

KFC UK & Ireland chief marketing officer Meg Farren said that the brand had been “privileged to see some amazing thinking about the future potential of CRM and loyalty” throughout the pitch process but added: “In the end, we have come to the conclusion that Rapp will be the best partner to help us achieve our ambitions – we’re really looking forward to working with them and are excited for this new chapter.”

Rapp chief executive Gabby Ludzker called the success a “dream win” to creating the future of CRM and loyalty for what she deemed a “cult brand”, and added: “The ambition of the brief and the brilliant client collaboration along the way meant we loved every minute of the pitch – we now can’t wait to get started.”

The appointment follows an impressive performance by KFC last year, despite a mistimed ad campaign at the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Worldwide the Yum-owned brand opened 1,512 gross new restaurants in 2020, in 88 countries, 587 during the fourth quarter.

The UK remained KFC’s largest market in Western Europe, also beating Latin America, Canada, India and Thailand. The brand’s UK sales were up 16% during the third quarter and 14% in the fourth quarter, which made it the best performing territory in the Yum! global portfolio.

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