Wavemaker wins Yum Brands

The company behind KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will pair with the GroupM shop as it continues to increase its digital investments.

The company comprised of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will now do its Canadian business with Wavemaker.

Yum Brands announced the selection of the GroupM buying agency as its Media AOR on June 25. The account change comes following eight years with Mediacom. Wavemaker’s work will include digital, social, search and programmatic buying, as well as traditional television, radio and OOH buying for all three brands.

Alex Thomas, brand reputation manager for Yum Brands, told MiC that Yum is looking at significantly increasing its digital spend. This is particularly true for the KFC brand, which is currently undergoing a broader digital strategy transformation. The QSR is expanding into e-commerce and digital delivery services. According to Yum, Wavemaker will support this strategy through a focus on data and technology. Pizza Hut Canada is also undergoing a similar shift to an e-commerce and delivery-first brand, recently launching its new loyalty program (“Hut Rewards”) and its first chatbot. Wavemaker will continue to build on Pizza Hut’s growing digital audience through online targeting strategies as it allocates the majority of its media spend to digital.

Taco Bell has also undergone a recent transformation; the chain has experienced significant growth in Canada (it has not responded to requests to elaborate on that growth, but head of marketing Veronica Castillo has told MiC the growth has been in the double-digits yearly). It has pursued numerous more experimental media strategies, including a “branded sleepover” through a partnership with Airbnb and its first Canadian OOH campaign.

The review launched in late 2017. According to Thomas, Mediacom was part of the bid.

Grip will continue to lead creative work for the company while Edelman remains its communications agency of record.