Industry News | July 9, 2009

Votes Are In, The Colonel Stays

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In a landslide that would make any politician envious, America voted recently to keep Colonel Harland Sanders as the advertising face for KFC's popular new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC). Of the thousands of votes cast, 96 percent were in favor of keeping the Colonel as the face of the brand.

In June, KFC announced the search for "a new iconic face for the brand's Kentucky Grilled Chicken." While the winner of the "Ultimate Kentucky Grilled Chicken Fan" contest will receive Kentucky Grilled Chicken for life and may participate in KGC marketing efforts, the winner will not appear on the brand's world-famous bucket.

"The votes are in and America has sent a very clear message that while they love our new Kentucky Grilled Chicken, there is only one face they want to see on their KFC buckets: Colonel Harland Sanders," says Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC.

"We're very excited about naming the 'Ultimate Kentucky Grilled Chicken Fan' and the winner will receive some great prizes, but the space on our famous bucket is going to remain reserved for the Colonel."

While the bucket real estate is now off-limits thanks to America's vote, the winner of the "Ultimate KGC Fan Contest" will still win KGC for life, valued at more than $13,000 and awarded in the form of KFC gift checks. In addition, the winner could still be able to participate in some way in a future KFC marketing campaign.

"We're excited about the video entries we're seeing at the KFC/MySpace page and we know we're going to see even more great submissions before the deadline," Benito says.

"Someone is going to win more than $13,000 worth of Kentucky Grilled Chicken for 90 seconds worth of video. That's a pretty impressive payday in today's economy."

While the Colonel's face will continue to appear on KFC and KGC buckets, fans can still get a look at how their "grills" would look on the famous bucket. KFC has introduced a "bucketizer" widget that allows fans to upload images and see how they would look on a Kentucky Grilled Chicken bucket. "Bucketized" images of KFC fans are already appearing all over MySpace and other social media sites.

Also at www.kfc.com is a "Celebucket Gallery" that includes images of Kentucky Grilled Chicken buckets featuring famous faces. Be sure to stop by the gallery and take a look at some famous faces on KGC buckets, and see if you can figure out the identity of the "mystery celebrity" featured in the gallery.