KFC’s ongoing campaign featuring celebrity Colonel Sanders took a hilarious twist last night during the first integration on The Chris Gethard Show.
During truTV’s live, interactive talk show, Gethard noted that show correspondent and comedian Connor Ratliff had previously auditioned for Sanders last year, but did not win the part. So Ratliff donned a Colonel costume and reauditioned for the role, live. It doesn’t go very well, even after Gethard advises him to “chill out.” Eventually, after his Colonel becomes amorous, Gethard cuts him off: “Everyone’s just real weirded out, man. No one’s okay with that.”
Ratliff recalled that while he was still in the room during last year’s audition, “I heard them say, ‘this guy’s pretty good, but I bet we can get someone famous.’”
He made another on-air plea for the role with this sign, which was featured the bumper heading to a commercial break.
For its first integration on The Chris Gethard Show, truTV worked to develop a partnership that would be authentic to the show’s voice, and incorporate the KFC brand message.
“We love doing bits that come from a real place. So we were very excited to get this one in the show,” said showrunner and executive producer J.D. Amato. “It was a treat for such a large national brand to give us the thumbs up to play with their world on our show, and my secret hope is that this leads to Connor Ratliff getting hired for an actual KFC commercial.”
During last night’s show, Ratliff said he hasn’t given up hope yet: “If are there any KFC executives watching, I am available. … Please contact my representation.” In fact, a few KFC execs were in the audience to oversee the integration.
Since Wieden + Kennedy won KFC back in 2015, the brand has moved through a rotating cast of actors playing the iconic role of Colonel Sanders, including Darrell Hammond, Norm McDonald, George Hamilton and Rob Lowe. Spark Foundry, KFC’s media agency of record, led production and review of the creative for the truTV integration, which was also reviewed by W+K, the brand’s U.S. creative agency of record.
KFC is also one of many brands featured in Stranger Things 2, which was released today, but a Netflix spokesperson told Adweek that no brands paid for integrations in Season 2.