It’s not too much of a stretch to say that KFC has been going absolutely batshit nuts in recent years, in an effort to aggregate the one true currency of our fast-changing, modern world: meme points. From Cheetos-n’-chicken sandwiches to fried chicken-scented firelogs, from cocktails made of gravy to candles exuding its tangy aroma, from Reba to Robocop, there is no potentially viral stone the chicken chain will leave unturned.
Just last week, venerable KFC figurehead Colonel Sanders played the Ultra Music Festival. Why? So outlets like us can tell you about it. Now, in an effort to even further engage health-conscious millennial diners drifting away from fast food, as well as leave them with the sort of sexual hangups that will invariably require years of therapy, KFC has decided to introduce a hot, computer-generated Colonel Sanders.
This is a Colonel Sanders who fucks. We will take no further questions on the topic at this time.
The latest KFC campaign has transformed the Colonel into a chiseled hunk with an undercut, bad midsection tattoos, and the sort of “positive thinking” bon mots and copious hashtags that make actual influencer pages so deeply grating after roughly 10 seconds of exposure.
The campaign will run through April 22nd, just long enough for Colonel Man-ders to make his “presence” felt through both weekends of Coachella, a mecca for influencers with a lot of their parents’ money.
Here’s the weird thing about this, aside from the bangability of a zaddy Colonel: In a world where Instagram bots can become moderately popular restaurant influencers, and brands in general are hell-bent on Direct Social Engagement with consumers, it’s becoming increasingly important to remember that these gimmicks are ultimately still just branding, especially when their explicit function is to help distract you from that fact. Look at CGI hot bod! Feel the hormonal surge! Eat our chicken!
Sure, KFC might have outstanding coleslaw. Sure, it’s trying to break new ground in the oxymoronic field of healthy fried chicken. But virality is not and will never be an ultimate indicator of quality, so whether or not you find yourself wanting your back blown out by Hot Sanders, always let the chicken speak for itself, first and foremost.