KFC is making 2 drastic changes to beat the competition

After a 21-year hiatus, KFC is bringing back its founder and now-famous brand mascot Colonel Sanders back to its advertising to celebrate 75 years since the fast food chain’s secret fried chicken recipe was created.

“The Colonel” returns to TV ads next week, but with a new voice: That of actor, comedian, and former “Saturday Night Live” regular Darrell Hammond. “KFC is paying me in chicken,” Hammond says in a press release.

The refresh doesn’t end there, KFC is also rolling out a new, more-fancy restaurant design. The new designs had been trialed in Hikes Point, Louisville, Ky. and Las Vegas locations, but stores nationwide will be getting a refresh in the coming months.

Here’s the kind of design the stores will be getting on the outside:

And here’s a sample of the new interior:

And as with any fast food marketing campaign, some new items are being added to the menu.

Kentucky baked beans with slow pulled chicken:

Finger Lickin’ Good Sauce

And Dole Classic Lemonade, served medium, large, and byu the half gallon.

Colonel Harland Sanders had a colourful life: He was a farmhand, army mule-tender, locomotive fireman, trainee lawyer, insurance salesman, amateur obstetrician, ferryboat entrepreneur, and a political candidate. He was a 65-year-old chicken salesman when he created his secret blend of 11 herbs and spices.

Here’s the real Colonel Sanders with a bucket of KFC:

And this is Darrell Hammond as Colonel Sanders. Uncanny.

The TV campaign starring Hammond, created by Wieden+Kennedy, has three separate ads.

This spot is called “Bucket In My Hand”

And this is The Colonel’s “mandolin band.”

In addition, KFC has also created a micro-site, where you can play an 8 bit Atari-style game: “Colonel Quest.”

Unlike some other struggling fast food chains, like McDonald’s, KFC is currently performing well. In the US, KFC grew same-store sales by 7% year on year in the quarter ended March 21.

So while most marketing refreshes come at a time when companies are attempting to revive their businesses or move in a new direction, this effort genuinely seems like a celebration of KFC’s heritage.

KFC US chief marketing officer Kevin Hochman said in a press release: “Colonel Harland Sanders’ iconic legacy and world-famous Original Recipe chicken are what set Kentucky Fried Chicken apart from the rest. His entrepreneurial spark and unrelenting appreciation for hard work, philanthropy and showmanship (or what he called “a little Colonel-ing”) are exemplary of the ‘American Dream’ …The Colonel has always been at the core of everything we do here at Kentucky Fried Chicken. The 75th anniversary is the perfect time to give him back to the people and remind everyone of what we’re all about.”

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