Chicken-Scented Sunscreen And Buff Colonels: KFC Is Keeping It Odd

It’s getting extra crispy around the KFC marketing department, apparently.

Chicken-Scented Sunscreen And Buff Colonels: KFC Is Keeping It Odd

WHAT: Two new spots from KFC, both of which star Colonel Sanders (as played by different actors, naturally).

WHO: George Hamilton stars as the extra-crispy Colonel, while WWE superstar Dolph Ziggler is the original recipe Sanders now.

WHY WE CARE: KFC’s embrace of the Colonel Sanders character–who, it should be noted, went on a curious transition from “real human being” to “corporate mascot” over the past few years–has been an ongoing project that’s seen a host of funny people don the beard and white suit. George Hamilton was introduced in the role over the summer, and while he’s still out here selling chicken, he’s now also promoting KFC-scented sunscreen, that most George Hamilton-like of products. While supply of the sunscreen, which KFC distributed for free via its website, ran out very quickly, your best-case-scenario here is probably to encounter someone else who’s wearing it, so you can nod your head like, “Yep, that really does exist” without having to smell like fried chicken yourself.

In the brand’s other Colonel-like development, meanwhile, Hamilton is out and wrestling star Dolph Ziggler is in. Ziggler’s spot is, according to AdWeek, intended for a WWE Network audience–it premiered during SummerSlam this weekend, and will air on the channel throughout the year and into 2017. Which suggests that the cycling-through of Sanderses, which KFC’s CMO Kevin Hochman told us earlier this year was always part of the plan, may have entered a new phase: Instead of just new actors in the role as the months go by, we could be looking at niche Colonels for different markets, until we are all so fully overwhelmed by the semi-ironic positioning of a real human being who lived and died and is now being used as a cartoon by the company he founded that we just wander around smelling of chicken, either from actual chicken or sunscreen, until we shuffle off this mortal coil ourselves.

About the author

Dan Solomon lives in Austin with his wife and his dog. He's written about music for MTV and Spin, sports for Sports Illustrated, and pop culture for Vulture and the AV Club.



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