China – Under The Hood: New KFC China advertising campaign promotes Ireland to huge domestic audience

Finger lickin’ good news for Tourism Ireland’s efforts in China to draw attention to Ireland‘s natural beauty. KFC China has recently launched a really creative advertising campaign which markets Ireland and Bailey’s fried chicken flavour to China-wide TV / social media audiences and customers in 3,800 outlets throughout China.

Judging from the coverage on LCD TV displays in office and apartment complexes here in Hangzhou, the exposure of Ireland’s natural beauty to China’s urban fast food consuming masses is far and wide.

Wondering if this campaign was an initiative of Tourism Ireland, or Baileys (Diageo), or solely a KFC (Yum! Brands) initiative?

No matter. KFC is widely acclaimed as the most successful foreign company operating in China, its success widely attributed to the adaption of its menus to local tastes following extensive research. That KFC China appreciates the revenue generating potential of the Ireland brand in China provides a clear indication of the opportunities for our tourism, food and education sectors, if properly promoted and coordinated. Just look at the success New Zealand enjoys with respect to China market access!

Check this video out (Youku is China’s equivalent of Youtube)

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5 thoughts on “China – Under The Hood: New KFC China advertising campaign promotes Ireland to huge domestic audience

  • The plethora of comments from Ireland China Business Network (ICBN) members

    Robert F
    • This is brilliant – well done to all involved.

    Ian L
    • Let’s hope it tastes good!

    Gary F
    • Fantastic!

    Ciaran McC
    • What a ridiculous advertisement. Bailey’s or indeed Ireland’s Sweet Cream Whiskey flavored chicken is hardly going to draw people to Ireland. Does Anchor butter fill Air New Zealand’s flights x China? Another gimmick from an over hyped domestic advertising industry utilizing the mystery of overseas people or locations to con unwitting population into purchasing the latest novelty.
    Lets not fall over ourselves due to a mention in a third rate 30 second ad.

    P.S. Dare I say it looks more like France

    Paul H
    • ‘Baileys fried chicken’ might not appeal to the Irish palate but if the Chinese people enjoy it then what’s the problem? It’s a good start to putting Ireland on the map for many people who’ve never ever heard of the place!

    Denise O R
    • But you can’t deny it creates awareness of Ireland in China!! We are tiny and for the most part unknown there. True, flights to Dublin from Beijing may not fill up as a direct result but this is definitely positive. And who cares if it reminds you more of France – they’re pretty much next door to us and it’s the fact that we’re told it’s Ireland that is important. I think it’s great! (Though a link to KFC may not be the best for our gourmet repertoire)?

  • Yuxin Hu
    • It is just an advertisement for KFC. It just mentioned the name “Irish sweet cream” in the ad. You know it is Bailey’s because you are from Ireland. I know it is Bailey’s because I had experience in Ireland. Local Chinese like my parents will never understand that “Irish sweet cream” equals Bailey’s. Just one step further to establish the brand awareness of Bailey’s in common Chinese people. (a super attractive market, isn’t it?) But, does anybody pay the effort? What a good chance to take? And what a pity!

    P.S. as an import food distributor, I have never seen the Irish food on the production list to the local retailers. Come on! Irish food! I miss the nature taste of Irish milk so much. I cannot buy anywhere in China!

    Robert F • Regardless of what our personal views are of the content of the ad or the food it should be viewed as a positive promotion of the identity of Ireland in China.

    We have a better prospect of growing trade between our two countries, and thereby help us in Ireland out of our homemade economic mess, if we can build a better awareness about our country. My experience in China shows that despite what we might think Ireland is barely known so anything that builds awareness, interest or knowledge must be viewed as a positive – is it any worse than the image the “Quiet Man” portrayed in the 1950’s in America? We still generate business from this in the west of Ireland.

  • Ciaran McC
    • Case Closed!

    Clive L
    • The ad is really good and it does create awareness, however, I must say that I was let down by the taste. 😦

    Some of my Chinese friends saw the ad and, being so easily influenced by advertising, they bought some chicken legs to have a taste. I tried one but was less than impressed! The skin was fatty, the meat was dry…such a pity that the quality of the chicken doesn’t correspond to the ad.

    If this was a TI/Diageo initiative, they should have given pointers on the quality of the end product!

    Xin L
    • In 2000, Greece was on ad of Pizza Hut and now Ireland is with KFC. It is just the matter of business but for all Irish manufacturers that might be a big chance. Come on!

    Eoin M
    • Somehow I don’t think Yum Brands are too interested in what we foreigners think of the product. They have an incredible track record here in China, KFC is the most popular fast food here by a country mile and one of the ways they achieved this is by localising the menus not just for China but also regionally within China. Pepsico’s Lays brand has done the same thing and whatever you think of blueberry or cucumber flavour they are helping to drive phenomenal growth in that company. On the subject of creating awareness of Ireland, if all the ad does is mean that more taxi drivers in Shanghai actually know that Ai Er Lan is a place then it will have served us well. The real question is are we clever enough to ride on the back of the ad and consolidate that awareness. You can be sore that by next month Yum will have moved on and launched a new exotic flavour

  • Yuxin H
    • Just tried the new launch of KFC PALAPALA sauce and surprisingly to find the ad of Bailey’s in one of the busiest metro station in Shanghai. That’s great! But the next problem is whether I know where I can be served for it?

    John B
    • @Yuxin your comment reminds of a comment a few Chinese friends shared wi me. They said when they first arrived in Ireland – all the people smelled like milk!!!! I don’t think we realise how dairy-fied we are 🙂

    Niall O’R

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