In Japan, a country that loves its characters and mascots, KFC’s Colonel Sanders has become something of an icon. The white-haired, white-suited, white-bearded founder of the fast food chicken chain can be found outside pretty much every branch here, and he even gets dressed up for the holidays and special occasions.
So it came as a bit of a surprise when KFC announced it would be introducing us to a new-look Colonel Sanders for a limited-time promotional campaign, and it came as even more of a surprise when we found out that it was Japanese actor Kento Kaku who would be stepping into the colonel’s suit.
▼ Kento Kaku
The 32-year-old actor is a lot younger than the colonel we’re used to seeing, and many fans would argue that he brings a lot more sex appeal to the role. However, according to KFC, the reason why Kaku was chosen to be the new Colonel Sanders was because he’s a massive KFC fan, so much so that they go as far as to say he’s “the man who loves Kentucky Fried Chicken the most in Japan”.
Judging by the way Kaku eats chicken in a new clip shared by KFC, he’s definitely had experience tasting the Colonel’s secret herbs and spices.
The commercial has the tagline “今日、ケンタッキーにしない？” (Kyo, Kentucky ni shinai?), which translates to “Won’t you have KFC today?”
For those curious to know what the new Colonel is selling, it’s the “Tokutoku Pack“, which comes in three varieties with either four, six, or eight pieces of fried chicken.
The new commercial aims to reimagine Colonel Sanders for a modern audience, and for Kaku it’s been a dream come true to act as the founder of the chain. Kaku says he first fell in love with KFC when he was a young school boy, stopping by his local branch to eat fried chicken regularly on his way home from club activities.
In the press release, Kaku was quoted as saying, “My biggest dream in this industry was to appear in a KFC commercial!” It’s certainly an iconic role to play, and Kaku nails the character with a passion for fried chicken that would make the original colonel proud.
How long the new-look colonel will be around for is yet to be announced, but the current commercial will be on everyone’s screens until 7 June.
Source, images: PR Times
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