KFC Brings in an Extra-Bronzed George Hamilton to Play Extra Crispy Colonel

The First Product-Specific Colonel for KFC

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KFC has welcomed a very sunkissed George Hamilton to the ranks of its Colonel Sanders actors.

Mr. Hamilton, who will star in four new nationally-aired TV spots, is specifically the Extra Crispy Colonel, promoting the chain's Extra Crispy chicken, making him KFC's first product-specific Colonel.

According to KFC Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Hochman, Mr. Hamilton is a "natural fit" for the role -- and not just because of he's a little fried by the sun. The "Love at First Bite" actor has a certain "panache" about him, said Mr. Hochman. "The Extra Crispy lifestyle is about living life with a little more panache," he said.

Colonel Harland Sanders, the founder of what was originally Kentucky Fried Chicken, is said to have lived several lives before becoming the world's most successful chicken salesman. With resume lines ranging from sixth grade dropout to steamboat operator to gas station owner, Mr. Hochman said the original Colonel's willingness to "do it the hard way" is what keeps the iconic colonel relevant today.

Several actors have played the role of Colonel Sanders since its reintroduction last year with former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Darrell Hammond. Mr. Hochman said KFC and its agency Wieden & Kennedychoose Colonels based on specific goals they have for the brand and the campaign at the time. Comedian Norm Macdonald's time in the white suit, for example, was meant as a kind of self-reflective joke in which KFC was "essentially making fun of [itself] for bringing back the Colonel," he said.

Mr. Hamilton's part as a product-specific Colonel means Jim Gaffigan, the incumbent since earlier this year, will stay on as the more general Colonel Sanders and will continue to promote the company's $5 Fill Up product.

"The idea of bringing back the Colonel is not just about bringing back the core [audience], but how we can express those values again in a way that makes them relevant to young people," Mr. Hochman said.

Extra Crispy chicken has remained the second-best selling item on KFC's menu despite a lack of marketing for the past eight years, according to Mr. Hochman.

This story originally appeared at AdAge.com.

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Jun 23, 2016
Wieden & Kennedy
Client Contact:
Kevin Hochman
Client Contact:
George Felix
Client Contact:
Jennifer Lett
Creative Director:
Eric Baldwin
Creative Director:
Jason Kreher
Shaine Edwards
Art Director:
Matthew Carroll
Nicole Kaptur
Business Affairs:
Connery Obeng
Account Team:
Jesse Johnson
Account Team:
Andrie Wheeler
Account Team:
Kate Rutkowski
Account Team:
Madeline Parker
Production Company:
Trevor Shepard
Executive Producer:
Sam Swisher
Line Producer:
Ursula Camack
Director of Photography:
Tom Lazarevich
Editorial Company:
Kelly Brickner Lyon
Assistant Editor:
Mimi Bergen
Post Producer:
Chris Girard
Post Executive Producer:
Leslie Carthy
VFX Company:
VFX Coordinator:
Nathanael Horton
Flame Artist:
MB Enigh
Flame Artist:
Leif Peterson
Flame Artist:
Dave Sarbell
Flame Artist:
Stephan Lectez
Flame Artist:
David Stern
Flame Artist:
Noah Poole
VFX Executive Producer:
Alex Thiesen
Mix Company:
Sound Engineer/Mix:
Noah Woodburn
Sound Designer:
Noah Woodburn
Through the Worm Hole
Sarah Fink
Telecine Company:
David Jahns
Color Executive Producer:
Alex Thiesen

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