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Mark1 Labs delivers an award-winning virtual reality ad unit for KFC's Add Hope campaign

In celebration of World Hunger Day earlier this year; leading quick-service restaurant chain KFC, working with Plato Communications and specialists Awaken VR, developed 360° videos that give South Africans the unique opportunity to meet some of the disadvantaged children who benefit from KFC's Add Hope.
Established by KFC in 2009, Add Hope gives customers the option of donating R2 with every purchase to help tackle hunger in the country. Today, the programme supports sustainable feeding programmes across the country and partners with 137 organisations to provide 120,000 disadvantaged children with nutritious meals on an ongoing basis. KFC is constantly looking for fresh ways to illustrate to customers exactly who benefits from their generous donations and how.

"Customers need to see just how valuable their contributions are to children in need. We decided that it was time to illustrate how our customers were making a difference," says Ben Schoderer, Digital Manager at Yum! Restaurants International: Africa, holding company for KFC.

With this in mind, Schoderer says KFC's Media Agency - Mindshare approached Mark1 - a cutting edge, digital media execution business to come up with an idea on how best to deliver the exciting 360° video content that had been developed, creating an emotive experience. Together with its creative division - Mark1 Labs, the agency developed a ground-breaking Digital Campaign that ticked all the right boxes.

Brendan Sterley, Creative Director for Mark 1 Labs says the requirements were simple - make at least 5000 existing KFC customers aware of the impact of their donations using a mobile platform, so they can feel like they're there. He says Mark1 Labs leveraged its exclusive partnership with 360° and Virtual Reality (VR) advertising platform - Advrtas, and used Advrtas' patent-pending Panamorphic Ad technology that enables brands and agencies to create and distribute new, highly immersive digital experiences across trusted supply chains.

Sterley says the campaign used 360° video and built it into a 300x250 video banner, specifically aimed at a smart phone. The banner ad displayed a one-touch Virtual Reality (VR) mode and invited mobile users to insert their mobile device into a VR headset, with the ultimate aim of "being immersed into a full virtual reality world". It further created ways for users to engage with the brand, and enabled participants to not just be a passive consumer, but an active participator.

"The KFC Add Hope video has done that so well. They've made active participants of their Add Hope supporters by creating an experience using VR, allowing supporters to connect with the brand in a new and unprecedented way," Sterley says.

VR ads, augmented reality (AR) ads and 360° video ads are new in digital media marketing.
The 360°-video ad campaign, a first for South Africa delivered 55,400 video views; with an engagement rate of 26.86%, rated nine times more than the industry benchmark and a Video VTR of 91%, higher than the industry benchmark of between 50-60%. The average time participants spent watching the video clocked in at 68 seconds.

"The success of the KFC Add Hope campaign illustrates that immersive advertising is not only a great tool for driving brand engagement and affinity, it's also a powerful vehicle to be used for social good," added Advrtas CEO, Robert Bruza.

To view the extended case study - click here or visit mark1labs.co.za

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