KFC launched an AR filter on Kuaishou, which aimed to promote its new product “Chinzza”: a chicken base topped with cheese, pineapples, and corn, similar to a pizza.

Kuaishou developed the AR engine and real-time rendering tools.

The augmented reality in China

The global augmented reality (AR) market is projected to surpass $100 billion by 2024, fueled by demand in retail, gaming, and entertainment, with some 72% of customers already reporting that AR influenced them to purchase items they hadn’t planned on buying.

By 2023, the AR/VR industry expenditure is forecasted to reach about 65.2 billion U.S. dollars in China. These technologies have been applied to almost every industry in China, among them entertainment, gaming, education, shopping, and tourism.

AR to reduce return rate & Improve Online Shopping Experience

According to Statista, 30% of clothing ordered online is given back to shops. With the hope of significantly reducing the number of orders returned, both Nike and JD recently launched an augmented reality function in the app that allows you to accurately measure the size of the foot, with a deviation of only one millimeter.

Another example of technology that bridges the experiential gap of online with retail is the virtual reality (VR) store launched by Ikea in China, which allows you to virtually cross an identical version of the store, being able to zoom in on each showroom and on the products.

According to Alibaba, which has developed and hosts the technology on Tmall, there have been thirty million visits in one week and the conversion to purchase has increased nine fold. Therefore, if AR / VR technology fills part of the experiential gap with the physical store, it is now up to retail to take up the challenge and create new experiences that cannot be replicated by e-commerce.

Let’s see more in depth what KFC and Kuaishou did.

KFC and Kuaishou collaboration: how did the idea come from?

Many young Chinese people would like to escape from their stressful rhythms of life. It is a well-known fact that the pace of work in Chinese society is extremely rigid and, objectively, almost on the verge of human dignity.

The majority of employment contracts in China, especially those of tech-firms, are characterized by the infamous “996 schedule”, which is an unwritten rule that provides for a standard working hours 9 am-9 pm, six days a week.

It is clear how this greatly reduces any possibility for young Chinese people to build their own life outside the workplace, cultivate friendships and passions.

To get out of the everyday life, a common thought among Chinese millennials is imaging a different world and a different and definitely more relaxed life.

That is how the idea came from.

How does the Kuaishou Filter work?

Users have the possibility to produce a video with the filter and participate in the campaign by searching “subvert time and space” on Kuaishou.

The filter enables users to escape to a different universe: it gives them a helmet and they can enter a virtual world with aircraft, futuristic buildings and a star-filled sky.

This campaign has been very successful and had a great impact among young Chinese.

What is Kuaishou?

Kuaishou is a viral short video app that can be compared to Douyin.

  • It has 282.51 million monthly active users; (Mar 2020)
  • no. 2 among the Chinese short video apps
  • Contents are mainly themed on lifestyle
  • Users are fewer than those of Douyin but they spend more time on Kuaishou;
  • Users are mainly from the north and from 3rd, 4th tier cities.

Are Kuaishou and Douyin competitors?

It cannot be described as a Douyin competitor because the two apps have different targets.
Douyin is an App that focuses more on sharing high quality, viral content. Often Key Opinion Leaders (Chinese influencers) create this content with a huge fan base.

Kuaishou, on the other hand, finds its strength in the social ties between users. This is why, also with regard to KOLs, it does not place excessive emphasis on the contents of the most famous ones, but it distributes visibility to everyone.

Kaishou has a bigger ecommerce focus

The two Apps have different business models and strategies, with different objectives. Kuaishou was initially integrated with several e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, JD.com, Tmall and Pinduoduo. In recent months, however, it is promoting its own e-commerce to stimulate in-App sales.

Douyin, on the other hand, is already integrated with Taobao, JD.com, Kaola, Suning, and it is focusing on greater integration with Taobao.

What we suggest is to have a multi-channel strategy. The more Chinese consumers will find you on social media, the more you will build your e-reputation and credibility.

Contact Gma to discuss your plans for China.

Gentlemen Marketing Agency is a digital marketing agency that is expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China. We can help your brand increase sales in China, thanks to our services like:

  • Advertising
  • Baidu SEO&SEM
  • Social Media
  • PR
  • KOL & Influencers
  • E-commerce and cross-border e-commerce
  • Distribution

Read more about eCommerce case studies in China: