Norm Macdonald Plays Colonel Sanders Pretending Not to Be Colonel Sanders in W+K’s Latest for KFC

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched a new campaign for KFC, finally mixing up its Colonel formula with the first effort in its “Undercover Colonel” series, “Student.”

“Student,” which will be released in both 30 and 15-second versions, sees Norm Macdonald as the colonel again (he’s played the character since taking over for Darrell Hammond in August), but this time around he’s pretending not to be. “Hey, fellow university students,” he says, sitting down with a $5 Fill Ups propped on a skateboard. After extolling the virtues of the meal, a student asks if he’s Colonel Sanders and for a second he can’t seem to keep his story straight. It’s a very welcome change of pace from what had become a very tired formula for the brand, managing to promote the chain’s five dollar lunch option while also delivering a narrative with the Colonel in a new location. At the very least, it’s a step in the right direction, and the approach has the potential to go in interesting directions going forward. With more spots set to be released in the coming weeks, we may find out sooner rather than later.

Creative Directors: Eric Baldwin/Karl Lieberman
Copywriter: Jonathan Marshall
Art Director: Helen Rhodes
Producer: Jennie Lindstrom
Social Strategy: John Dempsey
Strategic Planning: Britton Taylor/Matt Hisamoto
Media/Comms Planning: Alex Barwick/Anjali Patel
Account Team: Jess Monsey/Jesse Johnson/Andrie Wheeler
Business Affaires: Teresa Lutz/Connery Obeng
Project Management: Erin Keeley
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples/Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz

Production Company: Smith & Jones Films
Director: Ulf Johansson
Executive Producer: Philippa Smith
Line Producer: Justine Madero
Director of Photography: Andrejz Sekula


Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Tommy Harden
Asst. Editor: Dylan Sylwester/Kristy Faris
Post Producer: Chris Girard
Post Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

VFX Company: Joint
VFX Executive Producer: Alex Thiesen
Lead Flame Artist: Katrina Salicrup
2D Artists: David Jahns, Robert Murdock, Noah Poole

Mix + Sound Company: Joint
Mixer / Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn
Producer: Sarah Fink

Telecine Company: The Mill
Colour Producer: Dan Kreeger
Colourist: David “Luddy” Ludlam