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How ‘Mr. Molapo’ Ate His Way through South African KFC’s



Ogilvy South Africa’s ECD Peter Little tells LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about the true story of a quality assurance inspector who got impersonated, all for some free KFC

How ‘Mr. Molapo’ Ate His Way through South African KFC’s

A chicken connoisseur from South Africa showed he’d do ‘Anything for the Taste’ of KFC, as he impersonated a restaurant quality assurance inspector. In an effort to bag himself free KFC meals, the great chicken cheat rivalled the Tinder Swindler by pretending to be an official at the chicken restaurant. Based on a true story, the new campaign from HunkyDory / Romance Films director Greg Gray and agency Ogilvy South Africa is a comedic spot created from a newsworthy moment. 

In the campaign, we watch the fake food inspector, ‘Mr. Molapo’, visit KFCs across the country - sporting a wig and fake moustache as he runs from restaurant to restaurant, leaving behind an origami chicken wherever he goes. As he ventures to more and more branches, his moustache begins to detach, wig begins to loosen and suspicion from employees and other eaters rises. With mirror pep talks and costume changes from his boot, the spot balances the tension of the secret with humorous moments and quick getaways. Eventually, our protagonist is confronted with the real Mr Molapo, who looks shockingly similar to our doppelgänger. 

Ogilvy South Africa’s executive creative director Peter Little speaks to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about bringing the urban legend to life and condensing all of the footage into a two-and-a-half minute campaign.

LBB> Humour, drama and a true story – this ad really had it all. Can you tell us where you started with this piece?

Peter> KFC has been in SA for over 50 years, so we knew that our people’s love for the iconic KFC taste was real, with countless stories and myths out there showing how far people would go to get their hands on it. We chose this particular urban legend because we loved the ballsiness of it and the way it perfectly introduces our latest brand platform, ‘Anything for the Taste’.

LBB> ‘Based on a true story’. Well, we have to know more! How much of it is fact and how much was up to creative interpretation?

Peter> The urban legend is true! Social media reports surfaced across the country of a number of individuals posing as fake food inspectors to get free KFC. Even though technically, KFC records show that no such events took place, we used it to inspire our narrative.

LBB> With the mirror pep talks and the growing scepticism from the KFC workers, the storyline really carries the piece. How long did it take to hone down the flow, to the point where we see it on screen?

Peter> Our new platform, ‘Anything for the Taste’, took nine months from brief to launch. During that time, we nurtured and crafted this baby till the very last minute. (Cuz deadlines). It was a labour of love, and a lot of beautiful storytelling was covered. So, choosing what should stay and go was really difficult, but we’re super proud of the final piece. 

LBB> Where was the campaign shot and how long did it take to create from start to finish?

Peter> It was shot in multiple locations across South Africa, taking approximately three months from treatment to completion. Our director, Greg Gray, and his production house Romance Films, shared our dedication and commitment to making this piece what it is. 

LBB> How did you land on ‘Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy’ by Billy Stewart as the backing song, and were there any other contenders?

Peter> We were always looking for a quirky, slightly off-beat track, and finally after listening to what felt like over 2000 hours of music, with multiple playlists from the agency, our director and client, we narrowed it down to just a few. The one or two that almost made the cut – ‘Bunni Groove’ from Chinese Man and ‘Clint Eastwood’ from Gorillaz. But then one fateful Friday night, Greg Gray shared this gem with us and we were hooked. It was an instant earworm and when it survived the weekend ‘overnight test’, we knew it was the one. 

LBB> The piece would have really come together during the edit. Did you face any challenges during this process?

Peter> Oh yeah, this was probably one of the hardest parts of the process. We had captured so much magic and letting even some of it go was brutal. We literally could’ve made a short film.

LBB> Other than the origami chicken the protagonist left everywhere, were there any other Easter eggs hidden in the piece?

Peter> There were a few small things like him wearing KFC socks and the fake moustache stuck on a KFC cup with Colonel’s face on it, but other than that, he left no other trace behind. That’s why he remains an urban legend.

LBB> We have to know what the reactions to this campaign have been like. Were there any surprising or funny reactions?

Peter> Overwhelmingly positive. The comments section includes gems like ‘Ad companies deserve KFC vouchers for good humour’, (one that we are definitely chatting to our client team about) and requests for us to make it into a full length feature film. 

LBB> Would you like to tell us anything else about the spot?

Peter> Just a big ups to the whole team, including our client, for partnering in making this brave piece of work happen. 

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HunkyDory Films, Thu, 15 Sep 2022 16:45:00 GMT