Sunday, June 26, 2016

Will the Real Colonel Sanders Please Stand Up?

Rob Riggle as Colonel Sanders and owner of the Kentucky Buckets.
YET ANOTHER UPDATE
In what continues to be a confusing and sometimes head-scratching campaign for Kentucky Fried Chicken's (or KFC if you prefer) marketing, the powers that be keep changing their restaurants' Colonel Sanders impersonators.

For the current football season, KFC has unveiled yet another imposter who not only says that he's the colonel, but that he is also owner, head coach and marketing director” of the new Kentucky Buckets football team which is just as fake. This time he is played by comedian Rob Riggle who is actually a colonel in real life.

“Rob Riggle was the obvious choice for those on the Internet calling for us to use the real Kentucky Colonel in our ads,” says Kevin Hochman, KFC’s chief marking officer said in a press release. “He was born in Louisville, Kentucky and served our country as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines. It doesn't get any more real than that.”

The Kentucky Buckets uniforms resemble the famous Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets of chicken. The helmets actually show the chicken and each player each wear ties similar to the colonels. Their mascot? A large bucket of chicken of course.


The many faces of Colonel SandersThis "new" colonel is the fifth in an increasing large line of fake Colonel Sanders. This last summer George Hamilton portrayed the "extra crispy colonel." 

The first phony Colonel (top left) was played by former Saturday Night Live actor, Darrell Hammond who began the role in May of 2015. He was replaced in August of 2015 with Norm MacDonald (top right.) Then came Jim Gaffigan (bottom left) who first appeared during the 2016 Superbowl where he awoke from a nightmare fearing that someone had stolen his identity.

The commercials are sort of odd and not particularly funny, but they do seem to be working for the chain as sales have gone up while introducing Colonel Sanders to a younger generation, even if it is a fictional one. The real Colonel Sanders, who used to be seen in the older KFC commercials, died in 1980.

KFC does have a reason for its madness of switching out the actors. Earlier this year Hochman says that "the thought was that we would bring him back in different iterations, depending on the promotional window" and is all about creating the "unexpected."

Well, I doubt anyone was expecting the Kentucky Buckets...

The one and only Colonel Sanders.
The one and only Colonel Sanders. (KFC)
 

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