This KFC Ad Shockingly Reveals How Santa Spends the Rest of His Year

Circus Grey Peru captures his post-holiday transition

With Christmas over, Santa gets ready for his other job in this buzz-generating spot from Peru. Circus Grey Peru
Headshot of T.L. Stanley

The gifts are unwrapped, the gingerbread cookies eaten, the ‘nog swilled. What follows is the inevitable post-Christmas letdown. No more surprises. Precious little excitement.

If that scenario has ever bummed you out, imagine what it must be like for Santa. He preps all year for this single day, and his whole identity is tied up in the anticipation of the event.

But what if jolly old St. Nick is just moonlighting as the president of global presents? Could he be gainfully employed during the off-season, and not in some predictable ancillary business like toy making?

What would he do, and how would he transform himself from one of the most recognizable characters in popular culture into a regular working stiff? Agency Circus Grey Peru has an idea:

So as you can see, Santa isn’t exactly punching a clock. He’s a brand icon—Santa is the Colonel! Has that been true all along? One dude, two major worldwide franchises?

Or is this a new phenomenon? Has the Colonel started side-hustling as Santa in the gig economy? And if so, what happened to the other Santa(s)? Discuss!

While the meaning may be open to interpretation, consumers in Peru are reportedly digging this long-form ad for KFC.

“Just after we aired ‘The Colonel Santa,’ people reacted immediately,” says Charlie Tolmos, Circus Grey’s ecd, noting that the 84-second spot “quickly became the country’s most-commented Christmas ad.”

It’s easy to see why. “The Colonel Santa” is a well played bait and switch set to a stripped-down, sorrowful version of Auld Lang Syne. A melancholy Santa gazes at himself in a mirror, purportedly trying to figure out what he’ll do with the next 364 days. Is he examining his life choices? Thinking about throwing in the towel? Wondering how much longer he can deal with the emotional roller coaster of pre-holiday drama and its anticlimactic aftermath?

His self-styled makeover—shave, haircut, new spectacles and outfit—reveal the Colonel within, a guy with conviction and purpose (there’s fried chicken to hawk!)

Why did we never notice the resemblance between these two superstars before? Then again, there have been a whole boatload of famous stand-ins for the KFC legend. This clever genre-mashup with a twist ending adds yet another to the list.

CREDITS:
Creative Agency: Circus Grey
Client: KFC
Title: Colonel Santa
CMO: Jose Prinz
Marketing Manager: Diego Torrejon
Marketing Coordinator: Maria Jose Calvo
Marketing Coordinator: Pamela Castillo
Marketing Analyst: Julissa Alvarado
Marketing Analyst: Wendy Mazzerini

Circus Grey
CEO: Zinka Mendoza
CCO: José Rivera y Piérola
ECD: Charlie Tolmos
CD: Jordan Caceres / Patricio Vargas
Art Director: Jose Miguel Diez
Copywriter: Fernando Pachas / Abel Gómez
Account Director: Angela Talavera
Account Supervisor: Lady Mondragón
Account Executive: Fiorella Guzmán / Daniela Montoya
Production Director: Renzo Talavera
Senior Proucer: Vanessa Gómez
Producer: Mayte Angulo / Ricardo Ruiz

Production Company: Apaga Incendios Films
Executive Director: Coco Irei
Director: Hernan Bargman
Executive Producer: Akinori Sato
DOP: Martin Nico
Assistant Director: Mitsuo Maruyama
Art Director: Max Suffriau
Production Leader: Lucho Morales
Production: Christopher Valencia
Casting: Apaga Incendios Casting
Editor: Paul Manrique
Colorist: Cesar Perez
Rental: Cine Assist / Muvicenter
Gaffer: Lander Torres
Escenography: Victor Caceres

Audio Production Company: Agosto
Executive Producer: Claudia Incio
Sound Post Producer: Carlos Garcia


@TLStanleyLA terry.stanley@adweek.com T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.
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