Colonel Sanders Is the Godfather of Chicken Town in KFC UK’s Ominous New Ad

In a sea of imitators, Mother celebrates 'the original chicken Don'

Colonel Sanders, a relatively new face in KFC U.K. marketing, explores his domain. Mother
Headshot of David Griner

In American ads, Colonel Sanders tends to be a jolly old fellow with a spring in his step—especially impressive given that he’s been dead for almost 40 years. But KFC advertising in the U.K. and Ireland is forging an entirely new kind of a Colonel. He’s not here to talk. He’s here to fry chicken and kick ass. (So you’d better hope he doesn’t run out of chicken.)

Agency Mother London first brought the Colonel to America in May of last year, portraying him as a knuckle-cracking heavy brought in to clean up the mess left by the chain’s high-profile chicken shortage.

Now he’s back and perhaps even more intimidating. Mother’s new spot shows him driving around London, giving the eye to every knockoff chicken restaurant with names like “QFC” or “LFC.” Just to drive home the image of Sanders as the Vito Corleone of crispy poultry, the agency’s announcement of the spot calls Sanders “the original chicken Don,” and the ad is set to Nino Rota’s eerily melodic “Love Theme from The Godfather.”

“There’s only one colonel in Chicken Town,” says Hermeti Balarin, partner at Mother. “And his name is Harland Sanders. Capisce?”

The brand is also debuting out-of-home ads mocking the imitator restaurants that can be found in cities across the U.K. The restaurants in the ads aren’t real, but the agency says they’re accurately reflective of the kinds of knockoff names you’ll find all over.

Mother
Mother

“It’s flattering to have this entire legion of imitators, and we wish every chicken shop out there the best of luck,” says Meghan Farren, CMO of KFC U.K. and Ireland. “But there’s nowhere else you can get the Colonel’s Original Recipe. We invest time, effort and skill into freshly hand-breading Kentucky Fried Chicken in our kitchens—all day, every day – and that’s why you can only get KFC at KFC.”

Mother

CREDITS:
Creative: Mother
Strategy: Mother
Production Company: Pulse
Director: Sam Pilling
Production Company Producer: Jane Lloyd
Production Company Executive Producer: Lucy Kelly
Director of Photography: Pat Scola
Editing: Ellie Johnson at TenThree
Postproduction: MPC
VFX Producer: Tamara Mennell
Creative Director and Shoot Supervisor: Marcus Dryden
VFX Supervisor: Marcus Dryden & George Brunt
Colorist: Jean-Clément Soret
Sound: Sam Robson @ 750mph
Music: ‘Love Theme’ by Nino Rota performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through Universal Music & Decca Records
Conductor: James Morgan
Published: by Sascha Darroch-Davies at DLMDD for Sony ATV Harmony UK
Media: Blue 449


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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: March 22, 2019 https://stage.adweek.com/creativity/colonel-sanders-is-the-godfather-of-chicken-town-in-kfc-u-k-s-ominous-new-ad/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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