If you’re an ageing white-haired actor with a goatee sadly there are few roles out there save for playing Colonel Sanders (or Santa if you’re a bit plumper). However, that too can be fraught judging by the rage the latest incarnation of the Colonel is copping in the States.
KFC has used three actors in less than 12 months to play the Colonel and apparently customers are none to happy with the changes or likeness. To placate customers’ rage it actually spoofs the fact in its latest and rather odd ad. Check it out here:
The ad, as you’d expect, is to be debuted at Sundays’ Super Bowl.
Over the past decade or more, KFC has made a conscious decision to remove both the word “fried” and the Colonel himself in much of it marketing and advertising. However, that’s all changed and over the past 12 months there has been a concerted effort to reintroduce the ageing founder with his image reappearing in ads, marketing and in-store.
And according to the company it’s new strategy is working.
KFC’s CMO Kevin Hochman said last month: “If you looked at social media over Halloween, there were zillions of Colonel Sanders costumes — not just kids, but adults.”
Media press in the US have reported that the Colonel appeals to adult customers and his reintroduction is designed to combat McDonald’s push into more grown-up burgers. Macca’s remodelled its own Hamburglar in May despite him looking like some seedy C-grade pornstar.
However, not everyone’s happy with the new Colonel or the number of actors who’ve played him. Despite that, KFC’s CEO, Greg Creed, didn’t appear to care of customers’ apparent disquiet. “They’re actually talking about KFC,” Creed said. “And you can market to love and hate; you cannot market to indifference.”
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