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KFC Rebrands Colonel Sanders As A Sexy Young Instagram Influencer

‘Daddy’ Colonel even has his own virtual girlfriend

Photos: KFC / Instagram

Hot. Sexy. Charming. A hunk.

We have never associated those adjectives with KFC‘s Colonel Sanders before this month, but everything has changed. The old and round mascot of the global fast food chain recently got a total makeover, now decades younger, free of wrinkles, and extremely fit. KFC has long been rebooting Colonel Harland Sanders, an actual living person who founded the company, and playing with his looks. But this time, it’s not a celebrity who’s playing him. No, the new Colonel isn’t even a real person. He’s a fictional and virtual Instagram influencer.

Besides finding a computer-generated Colonel Sanders surreal, the Internet is captivated by how much of a total snack the mascot is, perhaps even more than the fried chicken he sells. Many users on Twitter and Instagram are calling him a “daddy,” while others also point out that there’s no way this Colonel eats fried chicken even occasionally.

We agree; have you seen him working out at the gym?

We have to say, we are impressed by the level of commitment the KFC marketing team is making with this Colonel reboot campaign. It’s not just the handsome face and poses, but also the captions that really capture influencer trends and practices. In fact, you could say the hipster speak- and hashtag-strung captions are playfully mocking influencer culture.

The very first image introducing the new Virtual Influencer Colonel is practically a thirst trap:

The huge tattoo across his firm abs says #SecretRecipeForSuccess, and yes, even the hashtag symbol is part of the tattoo. It’s his signature hashtag, appearing at the end of every single post of his.

Influencer Colonel is living the high life – jet-setting around the world, hanging out with celebs, doing loads of #ads with other big brands – but he keeps it real with some deep introspection. A big part of his #secretrecipeforsuccess, as he would say.

Here he is getting in touch with his #humble beginnings in the kitchen, but still looking cool with a hoodie over his mock-chef’s uniform. We don’t see any chicken in sight, though…

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I may be a restaurant mogul and international inspiration, but I’m still just a kid who loves being in the kitchen. #humble It’s important never to lose sight of the things that make you who you are. For me, it’s being in the kitchen and making amazing fried chicken. That’s what got me here, and I never want to lose that young and hungry Colonel who spent all his time perfecting fried chicken. I’m still that kid who straps on an apron and makes fried chicken. And I’ll never lose that part of me. Never lose the things that make you who you are. This is part of my #secretrecipeforsuccess. #candid #candidkitchen #colonelskitchen #humble #friedchicken #advice #success #entrepreneur #behindthecurtain #keys #respect #inspiration #positive #positivethoughts #artistatwork #majorkey #cookingram #cooking

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We’re not surprised to learn Sexy Colonel isn’t alone. He went out with fellow virtual influencer, Dagny, at some exotic location.

Even the animals love him.

Virtual Colonel has been updating his Instagram at least once a day now. But he isn’t sticking around forever; his takeover of KFC’s social media will come to an end very soon, on 22 April. Whether you think this campaign is super weird or super funny, extending it for too long would definitely wear the joke thin.

In the meantime, we are curious to see how the Colonel will announce his leave – maybe an unexpected reversal of his digital surgery? We will be sending him #positivethoughts.

UPDATE 28/4/2019: Virtual Colonel may have said his farewells now, but KFC isn’t totally done with the sexy Colonel image yet. An actual dancer from the Chippendales portrays Colonel Sanders, alongside his fellow Chippendales-turned-“Chickendales” for a Mother’s Day video that gives chicken strips a whole new meaning.

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