New Tack for KFC

Food is the hero—specifically the new Twister sandwich—in a new campaign for KFC from Young & Rubicam. The work, which breaks today and bows a new tag-line, has been em-braced by franchisee representatives and appears to have so-lidified the shop’s re-lationship with KFC.

Three months ago, the Louisville, Ky., client contacted at least two New York agencies, asking them to submit creative reels and triggering speculation of a review [Adweek, July 3]. Now, a top marketing executive is singing the praises of Y&R.

“It took a little bit of time, but fortunately we got the best of both worlds,” said Peter Foulds, KFC’s chief image and advertising officer, citing the New York shop’s 20-plus years on the brand and the installation of a new creative team, led by managing partner-creative Janet Kraus.

“It was very important” for Y&R to convert on the latest assignment, said Foulds, who acknowledged that earlier in the summer, “there were some rumors buzzing around of a review.”

The new work takes a celebra-tory approach, with upbeat music and the tag: “How good is that.” The launch spot opens with foot-age of an open road, as a voiceover asks, “Is this horizontal world ready for a vertical sandwich?” It cuts to circular shots of smiling adults eating the hot chicken wrap and ends with an offer to “try the new KFC Twister for just a buck-99.”

A second spot is set to break in four weeks. Three more in the works will roll out over the next three months.

Y&R’s last campaign featured an animated Col. Sanders and the voice of actor Randy Quaid. Reflecting on the new tack, Kraus said: “It’s about not taking ourselves too seriously.”

Spending on the campaign was not available, but KFC typically spends $160-170 million a year in media, per Competitive Media Reporting.