Y&R’s Col. Sanders Gets Funky

Cartoon Version Of Icon Stars In New TV Spots
NEW YORK–KFC hopes a newly animated and decidedly modern-sounding Col. Harland Sanders will provide a merchandising opportunity as well as sell chicken in 10 TV spots from Young & Rubicam.
The Colonel introduces popcorn chicken in two spots that break this week. Actor Randy Quaid supplies the voice of the character, who wears the trademark string tie, goatee and white suit of the chain’s late founder, but struts and dances like a ’90s kind of guy.
“Hurry down to KFC. Try my new popcorn chicken,” the Colonel urges in one ad. “It’s more fun than watching me. Unless of course, Colonel gets funky. Go Colonel! Go Colonel!” he chants, twisting his hips to a jazz beat. At least eight more spots with the character, mixing classic and new products, are in production.
“It’s a unique KFC equity we can use in the 90’s,” said Chris Grabenstein, group creative director at Y&R. The ads revive a 1982 tagline: “We do chicken right.”
Previous spots touted KFC fare in humorous settings with the tag, “Isn’t it time for some really good chicken?”
KFC, which spends $170 million a year on ads, will put the Colonel’s visage on T-shirts as it vies for the icon status bestowed on sister chain Taco Bell’s popular Chihuahua character.