Rob Riggle Is KFC’s Newest Colonel in Football Fueled Spots From W+K Portland

By Erik Oster 

When W+K Portland introduced George Hamilton as KFC’s new “Extra Crispy Colonel” back in June it was obvious that he wouldn’t be around for long. Now that the summer is winding down and football season has arrived, the brand has tapped yet another actor to portray the character, this time turning to comedian (and retired United States Marine Corps Reserve Lt. Colonel) Rob Riggle.

In W+K’s latest for the client, The Daily Show vet plays the part of the Colonel as he introduces Kentucky’s first professional football team, the Kentucky Buckets.

In the 30-second “Real Team,” Riggle introduces himself as “owner, head coach and marketing director” of the team, which he assures viewers is a “real team and not just a marketing gimmick to get buckets of delicious chicken in front of football fans” while strolling through the locker room. The team’s “starting quarterback” confirms the “real team” status, albeit quite unconvincingly.

Other spots see the new Colonel giving a “Speech” to hype the team up for a photo shoot, reviving a player with an “Injury” via the magic of fried chicken and introducing the team’s (kind of creepy) “Mascot.”


At this point both the self-referential style of the ads and the revolving door of actors playing Colonel Sanders shtick feel tired, though the fake football team idea at least injects something different into the campaign.

The question now is whether the brand will stick with Riggle throughout the football season, as it’s a matter of when, not if, there’s a new Colonel. Our guesses for the next person to tackle the role: Rob Schneider, the recently retired Jonathan Goldsmith, Jay Pharoah (he did just leave SNL), Melissa McCarthy and big advertising fan Donald Trump.

Any other ideas?


Agency: W+K Portland
Client: KFC

Creative Directors Eric Baldwin / Jason Kreher
Copywriter Jonathan Marshall
Art Director Helen Rhodes
Senior Producer Jennie Lindstrom
Strategic Planning Britton Taylor, Barrie Wilhelmi
Account Team Jesse Johnson, Andrie Wheeler, Kate Rutkowski, Madeline Parker
Business Affaires Nestor Gandia
Project Management Ryan Gallagher

Production Company Biscuit Filmworks
Director Matt Dilmore
Managing Director Shawn Lacy
Executive Producer Rick Jarjoura
Line Producer Carr Donald
Director of Photography Bryan Newman

Editorial Company Joint
Editor Steve Sprinkel
Asst. Editor Kevin Alfoldy
Post Producer Jen Milano
Post Executive Producer Leslie Carthy

VFX Company Joint
Lead Flame Artist Katrina Salicrup
2D Artists Robert Murdock, Leif Peterson and Noah Poole
VFX Executive Producer Alex Thiesen
VFX Producer Rebekah Koerbel (Injury, Mascot, & Speech) / CJ Longhammer (Real Team)
VFX Coordinator Nathanael Horton

Mix + Sound Company Joint
Mixer / Sound Designer Noah Woodburn

Telecine Company Company 3
Color Producer Matt Moran
Colorist Siggy Ferstl