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Darrell Hammond Is Colonel Sanders in W+K's Big New Campaign for KFC

A throwback's view of modern culture

A comedic actor steps into the shoes of a classic icon.

Boy, howdy, have things changed."

That's Colonel Harland Sanders, 35 years after his death at age 90—but reincarnated in the form of ex-SNL star Darrell Hammond—weighing in on modern culture in Wieden + Kennedy's first advertising for KFC, on its 75th anniversary.

The Colonel, the face of the chicken chain and always a valuable asset, is front and center in the major new campaign. He places the needle on an old LP in the introductory spot, which tells you exactly where this is going: The old Colonel is here to riff on the differences between the old days and this crazy new world of millennials—in ads frequently punctuated by an exaggerated chuckle that Hammond has come up with.



It's an interesting approach, getting a comedic actor to play your most classic icon. And the first spots are notable not just because of the Colonel's return but because of the concerted oddness of the execution.

In the minute-long "Bucket in My Hand," the Colonel walks down a clogged highway, around an empty baseball stadium and up to a swimming pool lifeguard—handing out chicken and singing an off-kilter anthem with lyrics that frequently don't rhyme. In the 15-second "America's Favorite Music" ad, he raves about mandolin music.



The goofy humor is clearly meant to drag the Colonel into the modern age, without completely sacrificing his legacy. Even Hammond's stock quotes are a mix of reverent and tongue-in-cheek.

"In my line of work I've been able to do impressions of a lot of interesting people. But Colonel Sanders? He was a really fascinating guy," Hammond says in a statement. "His lifelong entrepreneurial spirit and integrity are two things that drew me to him. He never gave up. It's an honor to bring to life such an iconic figure … and it doesn't hurt that KFC is paying me in chicken (which, at the time sounded like a good idea, because I was very hungry that day)."



The TV spots will break next Monday. The campaign extends to web, social media and in-store experiences. The digital work includes a new KFC.com and ColonelSanders.com (the latter includes the Hall of Colonels, an interactive digital experience that tells Sanders' life story). There will also be new menu items, packaging and store designs.

"The Colonel has always been at the core of everything we do here at Kentucky Fried Chicken," says Kevin Hochman, KFC's U.S. CMO. "The 75th anniversary is the perfect time to give him back to the people and remind everyone of what we're all about."

Packaging:

 
Store design, exterior:

 
Store design, interior:

 
CREDITS

Client: KFC
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.

—Spot: "State of Kentucky Fried Chicken Address" :45

Agency: W+K Portland
Creative Directors: Karl Liberman, Eric Baldwin
Copywriter: Karl Liberman
Art Director: Eric Baldwin
Producer: Hayley Goggin,
Production Assistant: Nicole Kaptur
Interactive Strategy: Mike Davidson, Teresa Lai
Social Strategy: Matt Hisamoto
Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor, Lizzie Hanner
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Barwick
Account Team: Jess Monsey, Jesse Johnson, Kristin Postill, Alexina Shaber
Business Affaires: Alicia Willet/Karen Crossley
Project Management: Chenney Gruber
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Joint
Director: Karl Lieberman + Eric Baldwin
Executive Producer: Patty Brebner
Line Producer: Shelli Jury
Director of Photography: Eric Edwards

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Nick Davis
Post Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

VFX Company: Joint
Exec Producer, VFX: Alex Thiesen
Nuke Artist : Zack Jacobs
Smoke Artist: David Jahns
Executive Producer, Color: Thatcher Peterson
Color Producer : Antonio Hardy
Color Coordinator: Diane Valera
Colorist: David Ludlum

Music+Sound Company: Walker
Composer: N/A
Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn
Song (if applicable):  'Keep on the Sunny Side'
Producer: Abbey Hickman + Sara Matarazzo

Mix Company: Joint
Mixer: Noah Woodburn
Producer: Sarah Fink

—Spots: "Bucket in My Hand" :60, "Pool Dip" :15, "Traffic" :30, "Baseball No Hitter" :30, "Baseball-Talkin About" :15

Agency: W+K Portland
Creative Directors: Karl Liberman, Eric Baldwin
Copywriter: Matt Mulvey
Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
Producer: Hayley Goggin,
Production Assistant: Nicole Kaptur
Interactive Strategy: Mike Davidson, Teresa Lai
Social Strategy: Matt Hisamoto
Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor, Lizzie Hanner
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Barwick
Account Team: Jess Monsey, Ken Smith, Jesse Johnson, Kristin Postill, Alexina Shaber
Business Affaires: Karen Crossley
Project Management: Chenney Gruber
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Line Producer: Andrew Travelstead
Director of Photography: Tim Hudson

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Steve Sprinkel
Post Producer: Lauren Pullano
Post Executive Producer: Alex Thiesen

VFX Company: The Mill
Exec Producer, VFX: Sue Troyan
Sr. VFX Producer: Dan Roberts
Production Coordinator: Mary Hayden
VFX Supervisor: Phil Crowe
Lead Flame Artist : James Allen
2D Artists: Tim Davies, Jason Bergman, Steve Cokonis, Andy Dill, Kevin Flores, Gareth Parr, Tim Robbins, Lisa Ryan, Stefan Smith, Glyn Tebbutt
Matte Painters: Gillian George, Itai Muller, Lynn Yang
Executive Producer, Color: Thatcher Peterson
Color Producer : Antonio Hardy
Color Coordinator: Diane Valera
Colorist: David Ludlum

Music+Sound Company: Walker Music
Composer: N/A
Sound Designer: Walker Music  on Bucket In My Hand :60/:30 ONLY
Song (if applicable): Bucket In My Hand (re-record of Ivor Cutler 'Donut in my hand') All other spots, 'Keep on the Sunny Side' production performance from Mandolin Band on set day of shoot
Producer: Abbey Hickman + Sara Matarazzo

Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Sam Casas + Matt Miller
Producer: Susie Boyajan

—Spot: Mandolin Spots

Agency: W+K Portland
Creative Directors: Karl Liberman, Eric Baldwin
Copywriter: Matt Mulvey
Art Director: Lawrence Melilli
Producer: Hayley Goggin,
Production Assistant: Nicole Kaptur
Interactive Strategy: Mike Davidson, Teresa Lai
Social Strategy: Matt Hisamoto
Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor, Lizzie Hanner
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Barwick
Account Team: Jess Monsey, Ken Smith, Jesse Johnson, Kristin Postill, Alexina Shaber
Business Affaires: Karen Crossley
Project Management: Chenney Gruber
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Line Producer: Andrew Travelstead
Director of Photography: Tim Hudson

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Steve Sprinkel
Post Producer: Lauren Pullano
Post Executive Producer: Alex Thiesen

VFX Company: The Mill
Exec Producer, VFX:: Sue Troyan
Sr. VFX Producer: Dan Roberts
Production Coordinator : Mary Hayden
VFX Supervisor: Phil Crowe
Lead Flame Artist : James Allen
2D Artists: Tim Davies, Jason Bergman, Steve Cokonis, Andy Dill, Kevin Flores, Gareth Parr, Tim Robbins, Lisa Ryan, Stefan Smith, Glyn Tebbutt
Matte Painters: Gillian George, Itai Muller, Lynn Yang
Executive Producer, Color: Thatcher Peterson
Color Producer : Antonio Hardy
Color Coordinator: Diane Valera
Colorist: David Ludlum

Music+Sound Company: Walker Music
Composer: N/A
Sound Designer: Walker Music  on $5 Dollar Phillip  :30 + :15
Song (if applicable): Down By the Bay  ($5 Dollar Phillip :30 + :15)
Producer: Abbey Hickman + Sara Matarazzo

Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Sam Casas + Matt Miller
Producer: Susie Boyajan

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