Will sales of KFC’s Zinger Chicken Sandwich soar to new heights with the help of the new video ad featuring Rob Lowe as Colonel Harland Sanders?

In its latest marketing effort, the quick service restaurant chain specializing in chicken continues to feature a well-known actor portraying its founder, Sanders, in a whimsical ad. While earlier efforts to bring back the colonel with “Saturday Night Live” alumni Norm Macdonald and Darrell Hammond received mixed reviews, it appears the newest incarnation of Sanders could be its best yet.

About the ad

In the latest KFC video spot, Lowe dons the appearance of Sanders with his signature white suit and tie, only in spacesuit form. At a podium, Lowe talks about KFC’s ambitious plans to send one of its products into space.

Viewers from across the world, including "Tic Tac Dough" game show host Wink Martindale, watch their television sets intently, in a similar fashion to when they did in the early days of space exploration.

Lowe, ala Sanders, asks: “Can you actually send KFC’s world famous Zinger Chicken Sandwich into space?” The answer to his rhetorical question: “We certainly hope so. Our entire marketing campaign depends on it.”

Lowe’s admiration for KFC and Colonel Sanders

Lowe, who rose to fame as a member of the Brat Pack in the 1980s, has done a lot recently to depart from his pretty boy image. First it was his portrayal of his oddball and sometimes creepy alter-egos in the DirecTV commercials.

Now, he continues to show his humorous side by portraying Sanders. But he does so respectfully.

After all, Lowe has fond memories of getting to meet Sanders as a youngster. 

"My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid,” Lowe said in a press release. “It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather."