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Ads We Like: Sean Astin becomes Colonel Sanders for KFC by channeling his Rudy character


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 5, 2019 | 3 min read

Plenty of actors have played Colonel Sanders over the years for KFC, but as Sean Astin takes over the role, he does so playing two roles – the Colonel and his iconic underdog character from the film Rudy.

Colonel Rudy

Colonel Rudy for KFC

Astin stars in ‘Rudy II’ in a chicken-fried spoof of the original Rudy. In it, Astin is seen hoisted on his teammates’ shoulders in what looks like the end of the 1993 movie. It moves on from there as he sees a fan with a bucket of KFC and has an idea of what he wants for his future.

Astin as Rudy tells his coach that when he finishes college, he wants to be the Colonel. He is urged on, donning a ‘chicken’ jacket and training as hard as he can. He puts on a football uniform with Sanders on the jersey, then attaches the gray wig, mustache and glasses and leads his team on to the field. As the action goes slo-mo, the voice and text-over says “Rudy II: He’s Colonel Sanders now.”

Fans of the original will recognize recreations of several of the iconic scenes from the original Rudy film like the famous locker room speech and when Rudy is lifted up and carried off the field as a hero.

Colonel Rudy will make his national game-time debut today (5 September), just in time to kick off Thursday Night Football. The spots were done by Wieden+Kennedy Portland.

“Football, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the iconic sports film Rudy – three American classics that were made for each other,” said Andrea Zahumensky, KFC US chief marketing officer. “This is why we’ve enlisted Colonel Rudy to remind fans across America that there’s no better way to watch your favorite team than with a bucket of the Colonel’s famous fried chicken.”

The announcement of Colonel Rudy also kicks off KFC’s latest deal – beginning 9 September, for a limited time only, fans can get a free chocolate cake when purchasing a 10-piece meal.

See the spots by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

KFC: Rudy II by Wieden+Kennedy


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