KFC encourages us to 'give in' to the return of the 'Double Down' plus...5 more campaigns that leverage guilt to powerful effect.

A snapshot look at a trending campaign with a curated pick of past campaigns that use a similar creative approach in some way.

KFC encourages us to 'give in' to the return of the 'Double Down' plus...5 more campaigns that leverage guilt to powerful effect.

Singapore came up with an innovative campaign to encourage guilt-free indulgence. Featuring a wallscape at Serangoon MRT Station that comprises a Whack-A-Mole game, designed to offer commuters an interactive fitness experience, the game encourages individuals to shed any guilt they have and give in to the irresistible Cheesy Mushroom Zinger Double Down.

To complement the experience, KFC is also offering a FREE 45-minute KFC Double Down Fitness Class so that the Cheesy Mushroom Zinger Double Down can be enjoyed guilt-free before or after their workout routine.

Here are five more campaigns that leverage guilt in different creative ways:

Save Ralph | The Humane Society | Arch Model | 2021

To highlight the reality of animal testing for cosmetics, the Humane Society gave people someone to imagine saving: Ralph. The charming stop motion rabbit debuted in a film that showed a day in his life that included lab tests and complaints about aches and pains caused by experiments. The ad is uncomfortable to watch as it challenges us (consumers) to recognize that it is our consumer behaviour that allows such testing to occur and changes in behaviour can limit animal testing. By giving people a loveable martyr to imagine these animal rights abuses happening to, helped drive the behaviour change message home. Uncomfortably so.

Guilt Gifts Puppetry | ANAIS Association | Cheil Centrade | 2021

Domestic violence perpetrators often give their victims gifts following a bad episode, which makes it more difficult for victims to escape their abusers. Taking this theme, ANAIS turned these gifts into art and showcased puppetry that told real stories of abuse victims as told by the gifts. This novel approach helped highlight to abuse victims that the gift itself was part of the cycle; the campaign itself offering a lifeline to abuse victims. This campaign used the guilt associated with domestic violence to offer support to victims.

Guilty Free Festival | Central Midnight Sale | Wolf | 2021

Flipping the idea of feeling guilty for buying something we already have, Central Department Store offered a different kind of sale. Giving people a way to sidestep their guilt, they launched the Black Midnight Sale: Guilty Free Festival. For the sale, every item in the store was renamed. People may have 20 pairs of shoes, but they don’t have any jackets, so they can purchase them guilt-free. This campaign cleverly allowed consumers to bypass the guilt associated with their consumer behaviour to enjoy some retail therapy.

Motel Burger King | Burger King | Colenso BBDO | 2015

Burger King wanted New Zealanders to swap their beloved beefburgers for a new chicken burger. Conscious that the beef loving nation might be wary of trying something new, they facilitated a motel specifically designed to help people try the new burger without letting their cherished beefburger know. Motel rooms typically saved for seedy rendezvouses were transformed into booths. Fans were encouraged to share the entire journey – from booking to consumption of their secret cheat meal. By flipping the concept of cheating and harnessing the guilt that comes with it, Burger King fans were ‘permitted’ to try a new product by tapping into their guilt. After two weeks, the new chicken burger outsold the Whopper.

Guilt Trip | V/Line | McCann | 2014

To encourage people living in the city to visit family and friends in the country, V/Line harnessed the power of guilt. Loved ones could create personalised messages suggesting their nearest and dearest weren’t visiting enough and could attach these messages to a pre-paid ticket. The campaign tugged on the heartstrings and took a local angle with regional advertising messages. This helped encourage people to suggest their loves ones took a trip inspired by guilt. Booklets even helped people craft guilt-inducing messages to spur on their loved ones to visit. As a result, V/Line saw an 11% increase in ticket sales and 400% ROI.