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The Colonel Makes a Comeback from the Chicken Crisis in Badass KFC Spot

29/05/2018
Advertising Agency
London, UK
339
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Colonel Harland Sanders makes first appearance in a KFC UK advert in over 40 years in campaign from Mother London

February was supposed to be the month of love. But not this year… instead, a dark, swirling wind of sadness and heartbreak descended. A sorrowful shadow was cast across the UK. With such desolation and desperation, many wondered whether it was the beginning of the end. Some even considered going to Burger King.

Fear not – those bleak, dark days are over. A white-suited, silver-haired icon is emerging from over the horizon. A singular beacon of light, a ray of hope, returning to rescue Britain from the jaws of devastation. KFC is back, and so is the one true Chicken Connoisseur – Colonel Harland Sanders.

The Colonel – chief, founder and legend – arrived on TV Saturday, May 26th, his first appearance in a KFC UK advert in over 40 years. Returning in a glorious blaze of herbs and spices, his reappearance symbolises a return to full strength after the nation’s favourite chicken restaurant ran out of chicken. 

The new ad showcases the Colonel’s never-say-die spirit, his grit and determination, particularly in times of trouble. He believed in doing things the right way and had an unwavering passion for hard work, even in the face of difficulties. Today, KFC still follows in his traditions: hand-made food, freshly prepared by trained cooks daily, and the same Original Recipe as it was back in the 1950s. The ad focuses on his determination to bounce back, featuring his own words: “My philosophy - don’t quit. Even in tough times, I’d always give the best there was in me. And you’ll always get the best in return.”

The ad debuted Saturday during ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, and will also be shown on BT Sport’s UEFA Champions League Final coverage.

Meghan Farren, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC UK and Ireland, said: “The Colonel’s back, and it’s about time too. We went through a tricky spell earlier this year – but his values, his philosophy and ultimately his recipe got us all through it. We’re glad to be back.”

Part of a fully-integrated campaign, the launch TV hooks viewers in with news footage from the restaurant closures earlier this year, followed by the Colonel’s philosophy, expressed through archive clips blended with present day commissioned film. Press advertising celebrates the perseverance of the Colonel, highlighting that it took 1009 separate attempts to perfect his iconic Original Recipe chicken. 

Outdoor shows iconic Colonel artwork, which was developed in partnership with American artist Greg Gossel - who specialises in screen-printing and collage featuring pop culture subjects. Digital content will delve further into the Colonel’s story,  with documentary-style content on social media further into the campaign. 

Hermeti Balarin, Partner of Mother, added: “KFC has weathered one of the worst storms in its history without skipping a beat. Who better to put an end to this saga than the man behind it all, Colonel Harland Sanders?”

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