Malaysian KFC ad criticised for copycatting after Kancils best-in-show win claims Cannes gold

Kancils work

Image: Facebook post

A poster that raised questions after winning top honours at Malaysia’s local awards show last year has won Gold Lions in the Outdoor category at Cannes.

A poster campaign for KFC by BBDO Malaysia that won best-in-show at the Kancil Awards and helped the client win advertiser of the year was called out in social media for bearing similarities to a campaign created six years earlier for rival brand Burger King in Germany. Both posters used the visual idea of a screaming child’s mouth shaped like the sillhouette of a burger.

'French fries'

‘French fries’



The ‘Burger’ ad for KFC, along with two other executions ‘Drumstick’ and ‘French fries’ won Gold and Silver in the campaign section of the outdoor category at Cannes.

In a Facebook post after the Kancils last November, Wai Hoong Tang, the creative group head at APD Interact, pointed out the similarities with the posters placed side by side and the words “Great ideas never die, indeed…”, referring to the 2014 Kancils theme. The award also generated debate in the comment thread in a story on about the Kancil winners.

Also winning in the Outdoor Lions at Cannes this year was Lowe Singapore’s campaign for carpet protector brand Scotchgard, the print version of which ran once in a magazine for Indian expats in April and was shortlisted in the Press Lions but didn’t win. It won a Bronze Lion in Outdoor.


Another win for BBDO in the outdoor category came from Thailand. The “Keep shouting” campaign series for Thoatsil won Gold.

Keep shouting

Among other Asian winners were Grey Beijing’s poster series for the Beijing Subway, which won silver. In response to Mumbrella’s questions about the campaign’s media exposure when it launched in April this year, Grey said the first phase of the campaign ran as ads on elevators in Chaoyang District in Beijing from January to February. The second phase ran in “some magazines” in April.


Grey also won a Bronze Lion for its campaign for DHL Express Courier Services in India.

DHL ad

Ogilvy India claimed a Bronze Lion for a campaign for Puffin audio books for children.

Ogilvy Puffin ad

Ogilvy Bangkok won bronze for its “Sweet kills” executions for Diabetes Association of Thailand, which shows deserts spilt on limbs looking like horrific injuries.

Sweet kills

Creativeland Asia won silver for its ‘Feel deep inside’ campaign for Durex, where blown up condoms resembles internal organs.

Durex ad

Bronze went to Y&R’s online safety idea for Baidu, where a predator lurks behind the shape of an emoticon.


Of 131 awards given out in the category, which is still one of the biggest at Cannes despite a slump in the number of entries, 54 gongs went to Asia.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing