KFC recently launched a new advertising campaign in which Colonel Sanders was brought back to life by SNL actor Darrell Hammond. Social media has branded the portrayal as “creepy.”
“Creepy” Colonel Sanders
Harland Sanders, the real Colonel Sanders, died 35 years ago, but his likeness has remained an integral part of KFC’s brand. Thus, it should have come as no surprise when KFC decided to resurrect Harland’s image in a new series of ads featuring SNL actor Darrell Hammond.
In theory it would stand to reason that Hammond’s success in portraying Bill Clinton on SNL would make him a good candidate to play Colonel Sanders in a round of new cheeky advertisements that began over Memorial Day weekend. The response, however, has been underwhelming.
Since the campaign began, social media users have pounded KFC’s Facebook and Twitter pages with complaints about the “new guy,” using such words as creepy and disrespectful. While KFC’s social media reps are usually quite responsive to feedback, they have been notably quiet in response to the chorus of discontent with the current portrayal of Colonel Sanders.
@kfc please will the new Colonel eat more of your chicken so he can have a massive coronary and end this horrible campaign?
— Roconne (@Roconne) May 24, 2015
It would appear that KFC’s attempt at a humorous portrayal of Colonel Sanders misfired, with their caricature resembling disrespect or mockery. Compare the new portrayal with a 1969 spot featuring the real Colonel Sanders.
KFC launched a new advertising campain featuring Darrell Hammond portraying a caricature of Colonel Sanders. Social media response has been overwhelmingly negative, referring to the portrayal as creepy and disrespectful.