KFC is doubling down on Colonel Sanders as it prepares to reveal yet another actor playing the chicken chain’s founder.
The chain released an absurdist teaser for its upcoming commercial bidding goodbye to comedian Norm MacDonald, who has played the Colonel in a recent ad campaign.
If you’re more confused than ever after watching the ad, you aren’t alone.
KFC clarified to Mashable that the company will reveal the new celebrity to play Colonel Sanders in a spot set to air during the Super Bowl pregame. The new actor will be the third to play the role of KFC’s founder in less than a year.
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Colonel Sanders has been featured front and center in KFC’s recent marketing efforts. The chain reintroduced the Colonel to marketing last May, played by Darrell Hammond. Norm MacDonald took over the role in August.
In the last year, both men’s versions have appeared in TV commercials and on social media. The company is even remodeling restaurants to put Colonel Sanders at the forefront.
According to the company, the rebirth of the Colonel is working.
“If you looked at social media over Halloween, there were zillions of Colonel Sanders costumes — not just kids, but adults,” Kevin Hochman, KFC’s chief marketing officer, said at an event debuting Nashville Hot Chicken in New York City in January.
The company has previously said that it doesn’t mind if some customers — an estimated 20% — hate the new Colonel Sanders ads.
“They’re actually talking about KFC, and you can market to love and hate — you cannot market to indifference,” Yum! Brands CEO Greg Creed said in May.
With Chick-fil-A’s recent expansion and the broader growth of fast-casual chicken concepts, KFC is looking for a way to stand out. Currently, the chain’s solution is trying to tap into customers’ nostalgia for the Colonel, as played by apparently interchangeable old white guys.
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