KFC enlists Mad Men's Pete Campbell to take on the role of its 'heart-throb' Nashville Hot Colonel

KFC enlists Mad Men's Pete Campbell to take on the role of its 'heartthrob' Nashville Hot Colonel

Those familiar with AMC's Mad Men may recognize KFC's latest Colonel. Known in fictional advertising circles as Pete Campbell of Sterling Cooper, actor Vincent Kartheiser has taken on the role of KFC's "heartthrob Nashville Hot Colonel" to mark the return of Nashville Hot Chicken to the chain's menu.

Kartheiser's Colonel is depicted as a smooth Elvis-like character in the spot which casts Nashville Hot Chicken as a forbidden fruit for teens. Set in the 1950s, the ad shows a young woman fawning over what looks to be one of the Colonel's vinyl records.

"Like KFC's Nashville Hot Chicken, I'm a bit of a rebel decked out in authentic Nashville flavor—a perfect combination of classic and cool," Kartheiser said in a statement. KFC said it was seeking a young actor with lots of hair and flair for the latest iteration of its founder, adding that Vincent's "vintage good looks and piercing blue eyes" made him perfect for the role.

The push is part of an ongoing campaign from Wieden + Kennedy which has seen the return of the Colonel in various guises to celebrate the launch of different KFC products.

Last week the chicken giant reported that US same-store sales increased by six per cent compared to the same quarter last year, a growth of eight per cent compared to the same quarter in 2014.

Get the Newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest news and insights.


Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum with a remit to cover the latest developments in social media marketing and wider industry news. Based in Glasgow, she has interviewed key figures from brands like Airbnb, Amnesty International, Facebook and Spotify. She has covered international events in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as Advertising Week Europe.

All by Rebecca