Friday, September 9, 2011

Tastes Like Chicken?

Colonel Harland Sanders on the album cover of Tijuana Picnic (1968)

Today marks the birth date of Colonel Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, in 1890. As a youngster, I really enjoyed having an occasional chicken dinner at KFC. It was "finger lickin' good" back in the day. Now, I just can't stomach the stuff. Certainly, my tastes have changed over the years. I'm generally not a fast food eater anymore.

But I'm thinking that something probably changed in regards to food quality at KFC. I can go back and grab a bite at Wendy's or Carl's Jr and, while I don't actually enjoy the meal, they don't disgust me with their bland flavor. But KFC is the YUCK!!! I'm certain it wasn't that bad back in 1984.

Alas, poor Colonel Sanders would probably be uncomfortable associating his likeness with such nasty chicken. Well, at least it's still more palatable than McDonalds or Burger King. ;-)

Colonel Harland Sanders (1976)

We can't let our celebration of a fast food icon pass without looking at some vintage ads.

One of the things that I've generally appreciated about early Kentucky Fried Chicken marketing is its down to earth nature, no clowns, cartoon figures, or goofy stunts. However, starting in the late '80s, KFC began using cartoon spokesmen, including Foghorn Leghorn and The Colonel. But, in general, KFC ads have been straight forward appeals to providing a "wholesome" meal. Individually, they are not memorable, but, taken as a whole, they created a brand "feel".

Let's take a look at some ads.




Here's the "We Do Chicken Right" claymation ad. Take that, McChicken!!!

1988 (No claymation)

Also from 1988, this disturbing ad featuring Foghorn Leghorn promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken!!!

In the early '90s, Kentucky Fried Chicken was renamed KFC to sound more modern and to take away the negative image that fried foods were getting from an increasingly health concerned consumer.

And then there was the cartoon Colonel.

Well, that's it for our brief view of the ads of KFC.


No comments:

Post a Comment