KFC Switches Things Up with Norm Macdonald as the New, New Colonel

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KFC Norm Macdonald

Just when everyone was getting used to Darrell Hammond playing a resurrection of Colonel Harland Sanders for KFC, the fast-chicken brand has changed things up—this time, by swapping in Norm Macdonald as the Colonel in a new series of advertisements.

Apparently the quick switch wasn’t the result of any dissatisfaction with Hammond’s portrayal of the brand’s iconic founder but, rather, part of a strategy to keep changing elements of KFC’s new marketing approach so all the disruptions would gain the attention of the crucial millennial consumer, 60 percent of whom in the US haven’t eaten KFC.

In fact, in a self-referential attempt to enforce some consistency within the campaign, in one of the new TV spots, Macdonald’s “Colonel” sees a clip of Hammond’s “Colonel” and dismisses him as “an impostor.”

“Other than not quite looking like him, his voice being different, and his inability to cook the world’s best chicken, we thought Norm was the perfect choice to play the Real Colonel,” said Kevin Hochman, chief marketing officer for KFC US, in a press release. “I think the fans will agree.”

A former Saturday Night Live player and current Last Comic Standing judge, Macdonald “assumed the suit” of the Colonel in a series of new ads for a $20 Family Fill-Up special.

Now that more millennials are forming their own families, the combination of finger-lickin’-good chicken and fixin’s plus a hip new marketing campaign may prove irresistible.

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