Mother’s Day is the most emotional day in Thailand. For some unfortunate children, it represents the most painful day of the year. For the majority, there is a feeling of warmth and happiness that spreads throughout. But for the other three million Thai children without mothers* (UNICEF), there is this feeling of despair and awkwardness, every time Mother’s Day comes around. (*Defined as children whose mothers have either died, been abandoned or living separately due to unavoidable circumstances).
There is a tradition at schools for children nationwide to display gratitude and affection towards their mothers on this day; the Queen of Thailand’s birthday.
Heartbreakingly, motherless children do one of two things:
1. Stay at home. Completely avoid the ceremony.
2. Isolate themselves somewhere at school, silently suppressing their pain while others happily attend to the ceremony of giving thanks and offering jasmine flowers to their mothers, as a sign of gratitude.
The Problem: Most people are unaware of these children and their pain.
Even though KFC prides itself in corporate social responsibility, its normalisation score for CSR dropped in Q.2 2016. So it wanted to make a difference. KFC wanted to make known the suffering of this small group of children to the masses, every time Mother’s Day came around. It vowed to break the silence.
The biggest challenge was how to raise the awareness of this group, yet at the same time, still enjoy the day without neglecting the small minority who wanted to be included in the festivities.
20 digital campaigns are released on average one week before Mother’s Day with the sole intent of scoring one better than their competitors on brand love. It would be difficult for KFC, a brand that had never engaged on such an emotional level with mums, to compete with others.
So it told a different side of the story.
Motherless children are raised either by a single father, a grandparent or a relative; a truly difficult circumstance to all involved. They treat these guardians as if they were their own mothers. The real heroes in the children’s lives. However, these children feel uncomfortable to show gratitude towards their ‘substitute parent’ since it is a day designed for mums.
Initiative's strategy was simple - Shift the paradigm and make the occasion a wholesome event.
Strategic Idea: Mother’s Day is for everyone. This created an opportunity to give thanks to those who were already playing dual roles in the lives of these children. Those that deserve the plaudits most. The approach was unconventional and thought-provoking.
Media Insight: Children’s ‘variety and reality-form’ programmes were two of the top 10 contents consumed on traditional television in Thailand. Knowing that Thais had a soft spot for children and were particularly receptive to content that was real; this was a revelation. Because KFC only had a budget of $48,000 and one week prior to Mother’s Day to work with, TV was never going to cut it.
Media Target: There are 42 million Facebook users in Thailand. But the agency wanted to reach people who were either planning to become parents or were already parents of young children themselves. It targeted the 25-49 year old internet population that represented 60% of total Facebook users in Thailand, roughly 26 million people, or a third of the entire population in Thailand.
Real children. Real experiences. Real pain.
A select group of motherless children were invited to take part in simultaneous interviews, articulating the agony they go through in their everyday lives, especially when Mother’s Day came around.
Despite the pain, they offered a different angle in life; how grateful they were to have someone else to fill in the void left by their mothers but at the same time receiving the same kind of unconditional love.
The interviews were shot candidly, devoid of any scripts. The emotions and heartbreaks captured were as real as it got. It was the first time anywhere in the world the message of Mother’s Day went beyond glorifying the unconditional love of purely biological mums.
A 3 minute video called “I….Want Mother’s Day too” was made of this revelation and was amplified digitally as digital media was ‘native’ to the target and much more cost-effective than TV to gain mass reach.
It was released one week prior to Mother’s Day; a typical media strategy employed by multiple brands with the intention of increasing brand love during this most important occasion.
Thais have the highest Facebook usage anywhere in the world with the average user logging in to the platform 14 times a day by default. 50% of the budget was dedicated to Krungsri First Choice’s fan page with the other 20% placed on YouTube’s in-stream media for incremental reach. The remaining 30% was used to be shared through influencers via their Facebook fan page VDO links.
Of the 20 campaigns launched by brands on Mother’s Day in 2016, “I Want Mother’s Day Too” clip was the undisputed no.1 content in all of social media combined – with 8,551,525 views received (70% paid 30% organic) on Facebook and 1,082,098 views on YouTube.
The clip received a total 40 million impressions. There are 42 million Facebook users in Thailand. That’s 95% of total Facebook users in the country.
There were 612,982 engagements in total:
- 451,000 Likes & Reactions
- 152,000 shares (76% paid 24% organic)
- 10,000 comments.
The video clip was ranked 8th on the YouTube Ads leaderboard in all of Asia-Pacific in the month of August.
KFC (TOM) saw brand awareness uplift of 1,100% (TNS tracking Q.2: 3%, Q.3: 34%) and its CSR normalisation score increased 100% (Q.2:+2 to Q.3:+4).
A movement has been created to scrap the tradition of paying homage to mums at schools on Mother’s Day to avoid isolating motherless children.
Most importantly, the campaign completely redefined the meaning of Mother’s Day and it made possible the opportunity to give thanks beyond biological mothers, but also to those who served wholeheartedly on behalf of mothers.
A real dedication to the true ‘mothers’ of this world.