Modern Marketing

Rob Lowe plays the Colonel to promote KFC’s new U.S. menu addition

By Haley Velasco | Freelance journalist

April 23, 2017 | 4 min read

For Kentucky Fried Chicken’s newest addition to the U.S. menu, the Colonel, played by actor Rob Lowe, gives a press briefing that mimics the U.S. putting a man on the moon, for the new menu item. The Zinger, which will be available on April 24, is one of the top selling sandwiches internationally for KFC.

"I have no idea how we'll launch a chicken sandwich into space, but the marketing team thinks they can do it," said Kevin Hochman, KFC U.S. president and chief concept officer, in a statement. "What I do know, is the Zinger is the bestselling KFC chicken sandwich in 120 countries and it's now available in America."

The spot, created with Wieden + Kennedy Portland, begins with, “The time has come to explore beyond our known horizons. To push KFC’s crispy chicken to new heights.” It has Lowe dressed in astronaut gear speaking to the public about KFC’s space exploration. It flashes to a diner, family around their table, a man getting a shoe shine, as they watch Lowe’s impassioned speech.

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Rob Lowe plays the Colonel to promote KFC’s new addition to the U.S. menu

Rob Lowe plays the Colonel to promote KFC’s new addition to the U.S. menu / Courtesy of KFC

They cheer him on, clapping, shooting guns and hollering in agreement.

Then the spot finishes with the sell, “The KFC Zinger. The best chicken sandwich on Earth and soon, in space.”

In the description for the video, KFC said, “When your spicy, crispy chicken sandwich is already world famous, there’s only one place left to go. And that’s space. That’s right, KFC’s new Zinger chicken sandwich is going to space.”

Lowe follows a tradition of celebrity colonels, including Billy Zane, Vincent Kartheiser, Rob Riggle and George Hamilton.

"My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid. It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather," Lowe said. "Plus, we're sending the Zinger chicken sandwich to space. You kind of can't beat that."

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