June 29, 2009 // Franchising.com // Louisville, KY – On June 9, KFC issued a press release announcing a search for "a new iconic face for the brand's new Kentucky Grilled Chicken (KGC)." On June 10, the public outcry began.
"Why?," wrote one customer. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." "I had just stated to my husband how happy I was that KFC never changed their advertising," commented another. "We don't need a new face!"
"Wake up! He is worth keeping," another passionate customer said. "Nothing new will be better than KFC's history."
And one media outlet spurred public outrage by running the erroneous headline, "KFC may be dumping Colonel Sanders."
While KFC is happy to confirm that Colonel Sanders will continue to represent the company he founded and built, the search continues for the ultimate KGC fan, who could potentially appear in future advertising.
"While we've received a lot of interest in our search for the ultimate KGC fan, we've also heard from many passionate supporters of Colonel Sanders," said Javier Benito, executive vice president of marketing and food innovation for KFC. "We want to make sure that everyone who has an opinion on this issue has the opportunity to be heard, so we've decided to let America vote. The 'poultry polls' are officially open!"
Starting today, fans of the brand can visit the website and vote on whether they'd like Colonel Sanders to be the only icon for the brand, or whether they'd rather see the winner of the KGC Ultimate Fan search be the Colonel's counterpart. Online voting will continue through July 8 and results will be announced shortly thereafter.
If fans think they have what it takes to be named the "Ultimate Kentucky Grilled Chicken fan," they can visit www.kfc.com or www.myspace.com/unthinkfc and see how their faces would look on the brand's world-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. Since only two people have ever appeared on a KFC bucket (Colonel Harland Sanders and race driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.), fans who use the "bucketizer" will be in good company.
If fans like the way they look on the bucket, but they feel the need to further channel their inner Colonel, the "bucketizer" widget has a "Colonelize" function, which can add white hair, black glasses, a goatee and even the Colonel's signature white suit to uploaded bucket photos.
While at the KGC MySpace page, be sure to submit your video entry for the "Ultimate KGC Fan Contest." If your video is selected as the winner, you'll receive KGC for life, valued at more than $13,000 and awarded in the form of KFC gift checks. You could also potentially appear in future KFC advertising. The video submission period ends July 12, so act quickly.
Also online is a "Celebucket Gallery" that includes images of Kentucky Grilled Chicken buckets featuring famous faces. The gallery will be updated over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to visit regularly to see which celebrity face is the latest to be added to the KGC bucket.
KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy®, Kentucky Grilled Chicken™ and Original Recipe Strips with home-style sides, Honey BBQ Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 15,000 KFC outlets in 109 countries and territories around the world serving some 12 million customers each day. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky.