From a chicken crisis to Cannes: Lessons from KFC's award-winning campaign

How did KFC go from a crisis that threatened its business to winning at Cannes Lions?

KFC’s "FCK" apology ad won a silver and three gold Lions at the Cannes festival last week. But not long ago the fast-food business was "on its knees," said Meghan Farren, chief marketing officer for KFC UK & Ireland. 

Earlier this year a chicken supply shortage shut down most of KFC’s UK stores. Mother London created an apology ad that inverted the letters of the brand’s name, taking a boldly honest and humorous approach to what it called "a hell of a week."   

Winning awards "was never the point," said Mother partner Hermeti Balarin. "We were very deep into the crisis, thinking about apologising to people and making up for letting so many people down." 

The campaign worked because it allowed people to emphathise with the brand. 

"Brands are like people," Farren said.

Watch the video above for more on KFC’s lessons from its award-winning campaign. 

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free