W+K Portland Takes KFC to Space, Introduces New Colonel

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland introduces both a new menu item and a new celebrity colonel in its latest for KFC.

The 90-second “Announcement” shows Rob Lowe as the latest to play Colonel Sanders, as he introduces the chain’s new spicy Zinger chicken sandwich and announces its plans to send the new menu item to space. Donning astronaut gear, Lowe says, “The time has come to explore beyond our known horizons,” and “to push KFC’s spicy, crispy chicken to new heights” as a variety of characters in sixties-inspired settings watch the address on TV.

The spot eventually gets self-referential, as these affairs tend to, when Lowe answers the question of whether such a launch is possible with, “We certainly hope so, our entire marketing campaign depends on it.”

Apparently, that uncertainty is not feigned.

“I have no idea how we’ll launch a chicken sandwich into space, but the marketing team thinks they can do it,” KFC U.S. president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman said in a statement.

Somebody get in touch with SpaceX.

The flavor of the month celebrity colonel schtick has been wearing out its welcome for some time, with Lowe just the latest in a long line that includes Vincent Kartheiser (best known for his role as Pete Campbell on Mad Men) as the Nashville Hot Chicken ColonelRob RiggleGeorge Hamilton as the Extra Crispy Colonel and, most recently, Billy Zane. This latest effort at least sees W+K taking the brand in a slightly different direction, even if the space launch approach eventually fizzles out.

Agency: W+K Portland
Creative Director: Jason Kreher
Copywriter: Heather Ryder
Art Director: Devin Gillespie
Producer: Jennifer Fiske
Account Team: Jesse Johnson, Kate Rutkowski, Lindsay Varquez

Production Company: Biscuit Filmworks
Director: Andreas Nilsson
Executive Producer: Holly Vega
Line Producer: Jay Veal
Director of Photography: Lasse Frank

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Steve Sprinkel
Post Producer: Jen Milano
Post Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy

VFX Company: Joint Editorial
Lead Flame Artist: Leif Peterson
Flame Artist: Robert Murdock
VFX Set Supervisor: Pilon Lectez
VFX Exec. Producer: Rebekah Koerbel
Titles/Graphics: Woodshop

Music+Sound Company: Joint Editorial
Sound Mixer: Noah Woodburn
Song: APM “Be a Hero”

Mix Company: Joint Editorial
Mixer: Noah Woodburn