KFC has survived the great chicken crisis of 2018, and it's making a comeback with the help of Colonel Sanders.
The U.K. arm of the fast food chain suffered a disastrous few weeks back in February after running out of chicken and closing hundreds of its restaurants. The problem stemmed from its changing suppliers to Bidvest to DHL, and at its worst saw up to two thirds of its retaurants closed.
Ad agency Mother helped soothe the bad feeling somewhat at the time, with a witty social media ad featuring a bucket emblazoned with "FCK." Now, it's taken to TV to announce that all is back to normal again, in an ad that features Colonel Sanders on TV for the first time in the U.K. in over 40 years.
Part of a fully-integrated campaign, the ad includes news footage from the restaurant closures followed by the shadowy figure of Colonel Sanders emerging from a red-light tunnel, somewhat "Terminator" like, to stand looking out over the lights of a city. This is mashed up with archive clips of old TV ads and audio of "Colonel Sanders" speaking about his recipe.
Outdoor ads will feaure iconic Colonel Sanders artwork, created in partnership with American artist Greg Gossel who specialises in screen-printing and collage featuring pop culture subjects. Digital content will delve further into the Colonel's story, with documentary-style content on social media.
Hermeti Balarin, partner at Mother, comments: "KFC has weathered one of the worst storms in its history without skipping a beat. Who better to put an end to this saga than the man behind it all, Colonel Harland Sanders?"
The reappearance of the Colonel in U.K. marketing follows his successful reintroduction in the U.S., where he's been played by a series of different actors including several celebrities in the ongoing campaign by Wieden & Kennedy. A spokesman for Mother said, however, that there were no plans to have him played by celebrities in the U.K. campaign.