Cindy Gu
Nov 27, 2019

Questions raised over KFC's Greater China Effie-winning campaign

Observers have pointed out a similar project from a coffee brand that pre-dates the famous KFC 'Pocket Store'.

Left: KFC's
Left: KFC's "Pocket Fried Chicken Shop". Right: CoffeeBox's "Pocket Café"

Some insiders in China have raised questions over KFC's 'Pocket Fried Chicken Shop' campaign after the work added to its many award wins, including at Cannes Lions, with the Grand Effie for Greater China last week.

The complaints center around an earlier "Pocket Café" initiative launched by a brand called CoffeeBox.

CoffeeBox is a Chinese online coffee brand established in 2014. The brand officially launched its "Pocket Café" applet on WeChat on August 1, 2018, earlier than KFC's 'Pocket Fried Chicken Shop', which first appeared in November 2018. People familiar with the matter said the coffee brand's project was made in-house. Both projects have to do with users creating their own ecommerce shop and then sharing it with friends.

One netizen commented on WeChat that "the grand prize should definitely not be given to KFC, [as] there is no innovation." Another insinuated that the KFC work was not popular, saying that "the whole audience has never heard of it."

On the other hand, an industry insider told Campaign China that they didn't see the ‘Pocket Café’ campaign when it was launched, but did see the KFC work. "Good work still needs good luck to become a winner," this person commented. Another industry insider observed that “the effectiveness of the ‘Pocket Fried Chicken Shop’ is not in doubt, adding that “sales growth is more important than industry communication".

Another person in the industry said that “there are similarities in creativity” between the two projects. "If it is a creative award, I think it should not be the grand prize," this person said. "But since it is an effectiveness award, it is also a reasonable choice." This person also said CoffeeBox project was not the first instance of the idea; he believes he saw something similar on Weibo eight years ago.

"There is no absolute fairness, and the judging sometimes is subjective," this source said.

Campaign China contacted the Effie Greater China organisers for comment, but has not received a response as of publication time.

Campaign China

Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

Tech Bites: Week of September 26, 2022

News from McLaren Racing, IAB Australia, CNN and more.

1 day ago

Campaign Creation Stories: How retailer Bananain ...

Chinese retailer Bananain and agency partner Goodzilla speak at length about their richly produced campaign that marries noodles with summer clothing.

1 day ago

Harnessing the power of SPO for programmatic campaigns

As more brand advertising spend flows into the programmatic ecosystem, players on both sides of the industry are beginning to rebel against complexity and demand transparency and efficiency across the supply chain.

1 day ago

Women to Watch 2022: Elayne Gan, Dow Jones

Recording incredible growth in the pandemic is no mean feat, and Gan boasts a massive 60% revenue growth since taking over the head of sales role in 2019.