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  • Writer's pictureKevin Lim

I tried KFC’s Chizza! (And learnt the value of marketing and ROI.)

Updated: Jul 7, 2021


Food porn and marketing tips from a freelance copywriter's blog.

A week ago, I saw this absolutely magnificent advertisement from my favourite fast food joint of all time.


My two favourite foods – pizza and KFC chicken - combined into one glorious combo.


So I headed to Punggol Plaza and ordered the most power Chizza meal available. (A $9.50 that also came with whipped potato, wedges and another piece of chicken!)


How about this for a carb overload?

I gleefully peeled open the box.

And got this.


A piece of soggy, lukewarm mess that tasted nothing like a pizza – or KFC’s signature fried chicken.

I looked around to see if anyone else’s Chizza looked as disappointing as mine, and noticed something interesting – every person around me had ordered a Chizza too.

By now, I realised the Chizza’s popularity probably had nothing to do with it being a good product. (It isn’t.)

Everyone else had probably ordered the Chizza for the same reason I did – the brilliant marketing.

Which boiled down to one thing. That delicious photo of a perfectly shaped, crispy and scrumptious Chizza. (That doesn’t exist in reality.)

How much does a perfect photo cost?

While I don’t know how much KFC paid to produce that perfect photo (that has since sold just about every single Chizza order in the country), a quick check with friends in the industry suggested that a high quality food shot could cost as much as $2,000.

So let’s go with that number.

How many Chizzas do you think that one perfect sold?

I’ve never headed a renowned fast food chain before, so I have no clue. Let’s just assume KFC’s going to sell 50,000 Chizzas by the end of the campaign. (Note: If you have a better estimate than me, please let me know and I’ll update the figures in this article.)

We’ll assume they’ll sell most of the Chizza sets will be the smaller, $7.50 sets.

$7.50 x 50,000 sets (or whatever number you feel is more accurate) = $375,000.

That’s a whole lot of revenue earned from one $2,000 photo.

In fact, even taking into account their cost of products and other marketing expenses, we’re still likely looking at a 6-figure profit margin, mostly generated by one really well-taken photo. (And perhaps some Photoshop magic.)

Are you running your business like KFC?

If you’re a business owner, now’s the time to ask yourself an important question.

Are you running your business like KFC?


Note: By “UFC”, I’m not referring to this:


But this:


Now, UFC may make some awesome canned corn, but let’s be honest – how many people would be attracted enough by that photo alone, to choose UFC corn over the half a dozen brands of canned corn that's placed on the same shelf?

(Not to mention, actually travel to a supermarket that has this particular can of corn, simply because the photo looked too appetising.)

KFC probably paid top dollar for that perfect food shot, and received exponential returns because that one photo looked too darn good to resist.

Yet, all too often, I see entrepreneurs and businesses miss out on beating the competition, simply because they’ve decided to put cost at the top of their mind – instead of focusing on potential results. (Which can be judged by the experience of the service provider you’re hiring, their portfolio and results.)

So go ahead and choose the cheaper option to get your marketing materials done, then wonder why your return on investment (ROI) on your marketing spend is negligible, or even negative.

Or be like KFC.

And put your trust in experts who can get the job done better, and help you stand out from the crowd. Remember, it’s not how much you spend on your marketing that’s important, it’s how much you profit from it.

All the best!

Image credit: Pixabay


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