KFC Debuts Alarmingly Tan George Hamilton As The Extra Crispy Colonel

He isn’t the new Colonel Sanders, per se, but he is the right one for this particular KFC product–one that gets a generous helping of heat.

WHAT: KFC’s new campaign with George Hamilton.


WHO: Wieden+Kennedy.

WHY WE CARE: George Hamilton has long understood his campy appeal. The ecstatically turmeric-colored sun worshipper is willing to be in on just about any joke made about his impressive tan, which is a boon to KFC in the company’s latest campaign. The ads for Extra Crispy chicken make appropriate use of the Hollywood legend with the extra crispiest skin of all. Although a press release states that Hamilton is the first “product-specific” Colonel, and thus not the official Colonel moving forward, lately KFC has been cycling through Colonels like Spinal Tap went through drummers. At least one recently departed Colonel, Darrell Hammond, has expressed a feeling of whiplash from the speed of changing Colonels. While the inclusion of Hamilton certainly complicates matters, it also points toward a multidimensional universe where there’s a different Colonel for each type of chicken–a Tender Colonel, a Grilled Colonel, a Popcorn Nugget Colonel, etc. Casting for these Colonels should be a hoot–and if anyone has footage of the meeting where KFC got George Hamilton to agree to represent Extra Crispy Colonel, please send along to Co.Create.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.