KFC and The Changing Colonels

Months ago I wrote about how KFC rebranded, and in doing so, resurrected Colonel Sanders — the role played by Darrel Hammond.

Seems like I wasn’t the only person cocking my head to the side about it. I was wondering if it was an ethical boundary to bring back a spokesperson who was once a living person. Not bothered, simply wondering if anyone had thought about that angle.

I’m not sure if they did, but it seemed like people were turned off enough that they hired Norm MacDonald to replace Darrell Hammond. Maybe nobody was mad, and maybe… I’m thinking maybe.. this was the main heart of the concept.

Alongside the ads was this interactive website, The Hall of Colonels! (http://www.colonelsanders.com/)– where you can interact with a Colonel Sanders-esque museum, watch skits of his life, play games, It’s weirdly entertaining way more than you’d imagine– but every Colonel is different.

When Norm MacDonald replaced Darrell Hammond, I asked Jake if he thought they were doing something similar to the website, but in advertisement spokesperson form. In this way, they aren’t really resurrecting the actual person (as Darrel was so spot on with his impression it was sometimes unnerving. Way to be DH. WAY TO BE), but bringing more levity “more myth than man” sort of appeal.

Now Jim Gaffigan replaces Norm MacDonald! A chain of Colonels in adorable succession. It’s KFC’s version of the Old Spice ads in my mind. Surrealism, Non-sequitors, hilarity, and impeccable craftsmanship.

Knowing that these spots are from WK, I’m really rooting for this whole “please be a conceptual Chain O’ Colonels like your website” thing. I’m not creeped out anymore (nor am I interested in eating fried chicken), but I AM now interested in a series of ads– and seeing where it goes. Can you ask for more from your ad agency? I didn’t even realize it was a question that could have been asked to begin with.

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