KFC Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024
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KFC Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024

Recognized for innovation in Advertising and Marketing, KFC joins the ranks of Nvidia, YouTube, Taco Bell, and more

March 22, 2024 // Franchising.com // Plano, TX - KFC has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2024, landing at No.14 in the Advertising and Marketing category.

This year’s list shines a spotlight on businesses that are shaping industry and culture through their innovations. These organizations are setting new standards and achieving remarkable milestones in all sectors of the economy. Alongside the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies, Fast Company recognizes 606 organizations across 58 sectors and regions.

“We’re proud to be named among the most innovative companies in the world and recognized for our courageous approach to marketing,” said Val Kubizniak, Global Chief Marketing Officer at KFC. “The iconic taste of KFC is universal, and our creative work around the world finds ways to show up and tell our taste story in an authentic way everywhere – by participating in and driving new cultural moments for our fans.”

One way KFC is taking fans by surprise is by connecting with gamers through one of the brands’ most iconic brand assets. In Street Fighter 6, KFC “hacked” the game’s editor and placed a fight-ready version of Colonel Sanders into the game’s existing roster of characters. During the promotional period, players in Canada who selected the Colonel avatar could use a code to complete a hit combo in the game, record and share it, then tag the brand for a chance to receive a KFC gift card.

Similarly, in Spain, KFC noticed two coincidences: for the first time in The Legends of Zelda game series people could cook fried chicken and one character in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom shares a striking resemblance with Colonel Sanders. To help gamers make that same connection, the brand created The Recipe Run, a speedrun that rewarded gamers who quickly cooked Original Recipe chicken in the game. This side quest generated more than 105 hours of user-generated content.

In the southern hemisphere, KFC rallied the entire nation of South Africa around the hunt for a phony food inspector (who would do anything for the taste of KFC). This campaign took off after launching a brand film which became the “most watched ad in 2022” on YouTube, resulting in an 18% sales increase and grabbing the rank of #1 brand for youth in the country.

The World's Most Innovative Companies stands as Fast Company's hallmark franchise and one of its most anticipated editorial efforts of the year.

Fast Company's editors and writers identified the companies driving progress around the world and across industries, evaluating thousands of submissions through a competitive application process. The result is a globe-spanning guide to innovation today, from early-stage startups to some of the most valuable companies in the world. Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies package is available online, as well as in-app form via iTunes, and on newsstands beginning March 26. The hashtag is #FCMostInnovative.

“Our list of the Most Innovative Companies is both a comprehensive look at the innovation economy and a snapshot of the business trends that defined the year,” said Fast Company editor-in-chief Brendan Vaughan. “We saw extraordinary innovation across the board in 2023, but we also saw a handful of clear patterns: the growing footprint and impact of AI, the triumphant return of live events, and great leaps forward in climate tech. We face daunting challenges on many fronts, but the solutions we celebrate in MIC give me plenty of hope about the future.”

Fast Company will host the Most Innovative Companies Summit and Gala on May 16. The summit features a morning and afternoon of inspiring content, followed by a creative black-tie gala including networking, a seated dinner, and an honoree presentation. This event celebrates the Most Innovative Companies honorees and provides an inside look at cutting-edge business trends and what it takes to innovate in 2024.

About KFC

KFC is a global chicken restaurant brand with a rich, decades-long history of success and innovation. It all started with one cook, Colonel Harland Sanders, who created the Original Recipe more than 90 years ago, a list of 11 secret herbs and spices scratched out on the back of the door to his kitchen. Today, while honoring our heritage, we remain committed to modernizing the colonel's vision, by serving feel-good food, at scale, through inclusive, equitable and sustainable business practices. We continue to follow his formula for success, with real cooks breading and freshly preparing our delicious chicken by hand in more than 30,000 restaurants in nearly 150 countries and territories around the world. KFC is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM.)

About Fast Company

Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc.

SOURCE KFC Corporation

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