KFC Will Launch a Chicken Sandwich Into Space With the Help of Celebrity Colonel Rob Lowe

The latest Colonel Sanders introduces a new menu item

Headshot of Christine Birkner

With Budweiser planning to brew beer on Mars, it’s perhaps only fitting that KFC is plotting to launch a chicken sandwich into space.

The Zinger, a spicy, crispy breaded-chicken sandwich that debuts in the U.S. on April 24 is already one of the top-selling sandwiches in KFC’s international markets.

To promote the Zinger, actor Rob Lowe signed on to be the brand’s latest celebrity colonel, following in the footsteps of Billy Zane, Vincent Kartheiser, Rob Riggle and George Hamilton. The revolving door of celebrity colonels has paid off for KFC, helping boost sales and increase interest in the brand among consumers under 35.

In the ad, by Wieden + Kennedy Portland, Lowe as the colonel is dressed in astronaut gear, delivering a rousing if bumbling address to the American public about KFC’s space mission, as people around the country look on in wonder and, ultimately, cheer him on.

Lowe actually has firsthand knowledge of the iconic KFC founder. The actor’s grandfather, who was head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s, took him to meet the real Colonel Harland Sanders as a kid.

“It was a big deal,” Lowe said in a statement. “I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather.”

KFC plans to reveal the details of its space odyssey later this spring.

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


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


@ChristineBirkne christine.birkner@adweek.com Christine Birkner is a Chicago-based freelance writer who covers marketing and advertising.