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RoboCop Colonel Sanders Has Arrived to Threaten People With Kentucky Fried Chicken

KFC’s latest ad is as weird as you think it is

KFC [Courtesy image]
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

KFC’s venerable founder and chameleon-like mascot Colonel Sanders has once again morphed into a new form — RoboCop. A new ad campaign features the dystopian zombie cyborg police officer, voiced by original 1980s RoboCop actor Peter Weller, defending the fried chicken chain’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices in a nuclear bunker in Stockholm, Sweden.

In one spot, Colonel RoboCop offers a family one of KFC’s $20 Fill Ups meals and demands that they comply. In another, he attends a dinner party and deflects questions about the recipe with an “If I told you, then I’d have to kill you.” The awkward silence is broken by a mechanical laugh. In the final spot, RoboCop scans the city streets for all-white meat $5 Full Ups instead of criminals.

As usual, the KFC campaign is incredibly weird — it stars a chrome-plated cyborg donning the white-haired wig of the Colonel to urge people to eat fried chicken — and uncannily aware of the ways in which it’s manipulating nostalgia and a sense of satisfaction that remix culture often traffics in, of being in on the reference. But it’s all the weirder given that the original movie, a Christ allegory and one of the most blood-soaked movies of the 1980s, heavily satirized Reagan-era consumerism and brand tyranny in the form of OCP; KFC is part of Yum brands, which also owns Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, and was once part of PepsiCo, one of the largest food corporations in the world.

This is the latest in a long string of celebrities taking on the Colonel’s persona, including Reba McEntire, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Lowe, Billy Zane, Ray Liotta, and Norm Macdonald.