LOUISVILLE, Ky., – Seventy-five years ago a feisty 65-year-old chicken salesman (once a farmhand, an army mule-tender, a locomotive fireman, an aspiring lawyer, an insurance salesman, an amateur obstetrician, a political candidate and a ferryboat entrepreneur, among other professions) set out to give his neighbors the best fried chicken out there. A decade later that secret recipe and his finger lickin’ good® fried chicken made Colonel Sanders one of the most recognizable men in the world.
“One of things that kept me going in those days was the conviction that my Kentucky Fried Chicken® was good—good for the restaurant owner and doggone good for the people who ate it.”
—Colonel Sanders, 1974
“Colonel Harland Sanders’ iconic legacy and world-famous Original Recipe® chicken are what set Kentucky Fried Chicken® apart from the rest. His entrepreneurial spark and unrelenting appreciation for hard work, philanthropy and showmanship (or what he called ‘a little Colonel-ing’) are exemplary of the ‘American Dream,'” said Kevin Hochman, chief marketing officer for KFC US. “We want to remind today’s hardworking folks that his passion, dedication and famous secret blend of 11 herbs & spices are alive and well across our 4,300 restaurants in the US.”
In honor of this momentous anniversary, KFC is reintroducing the brand’s greatest asset—the Colonel himself—by bringing his down-home values and recipe for the world’s tastiest chicken to life via web, broadcast, social media and in-store experiences.
We’re rollin’ out the changes online with a new and improved KFC.com and reinvented ColonelSanders.com. The latter will feature a mighty fine look at the various stages of the Colonel’s life via the Hall of Colonels, a new interactive digital experience that tells his story from rural farmer to small-town lawyer to gun-fightin’ gas station owner to fried chicken connoisseur and philanthropist.
Television commercials will kick off May 25 and put the Colonel (portrayed by stand-up comedian, impressionist and “Saturday Night Live” alum Darrell Hammond) front and center. The spots will playfully explore the juxtaposition between the Colonel’s heyday and modern culture.
“In my line of work I’ve been able to do impressions of a lot of interesting people. But Colonel Sanders? He was a really fascinating guy. His lifelong entrepreneurial spirit and integrity are two things that drew me to him. He never gave up. It’s an honor to bring to life such an iconic figure…and it doesn’t hurt that KFC is paying me in chicken (which, at the time, sounded like a good idea because I was very hungry that day),” Darrell Hammond notes.
The new KFC experience doesn’t end there, folks. Customers will taste the changes too, thanks to some new, innovative, lip-smackin’ menu items—namely, the Finger Lickin’ Good® sauce, made with Original Recipe® seasoning to complement the flavor of America’s favorite fried chicken. And don’t think they forgot the packaging! KFC meals will don newly designed buckets, bags, boxes and more, all reflecting the brand’s distinctive style. And, let’s face it, the Colonel’s style was one of a kind.
KFC restaurants are undergoing changes as well, with a fancy redesign rolling out at restaurants across the country during the next few years. And if you’ve been to the Hikes Point, Louisville, Ky. or Las Vegas, Nev. locations, then you have had a sneak peek. Hikes Pointers were the first to see the new digs, which bring to life the brand’s values while honoring the man who made it all happen: Colonel Sanders. And just like his memorable white suit and ribbon tie, KFC’s new design is iconic and distinctive, conveying originality, reputation for quality and, most importantly, showmanship.
Reflecting on all of the changes the brand is about to unveil, Hochman stated, “The Colonel has always been at the core of everything we do here at Kentucky Fried Chicken®. The 75th Anniversary is the perfect time to give him back to the people and remind everyone of what we’re all about.”