Welcome Back, Colonel: KFC’s George Felix Dishes On Brand Revival
Finger lickin’ good chicken, red-and-white buckets, and the Colonel himself once made KFC great, and now they’re working their magic again, says George Felix, director of brand communications.
by Alan Hart
Posted on 08-09-2017
As part of an ongoing series of conversations with 2017 Effie-winning marketers, I spoke with George Felix, director of brand communications at KFC.
In this week’s Marketing Today podcast, Felix described the North Star of “The Return of Colonel Sanders” campaign as a return to what the brand stood for when it was great: finger lickin’ good chicken, red-and-white buckets, and the Colonel himself—whether it’s the Extra Crispy Colonel or the Colonel intent on launching chicken sandwiches into space.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Felix has played a part in the renaissance of a brand. He discussed his work on the Old Spice “Smell Like a Man” campaign and how what he learned there about decision making played a defining role in his career,
“You need to have conviction. You need to trust your instincts—trust your gut,” he said. “There’s not always a silver bullet or a number that’s going to answer your question.”
Highlights from this week’s podcast include:
- The return of the Colonel. (1:01)
- Admitting the brand needed to change course. (2:42)
- Keeping it unexpected and fresh with multiple actors playing the Colonel. (3:54)
- The power of iconic brand elements. (4:55)
- Marketing effectiveness: “Sales overnight and brand over time … it’s a tension and a balance.” (8:12)
- Nike and Shinola: Two brands Felix keeps his eye on. (12:13)
- Felix’s novel approach to marketing—literally. (13:24)
- Felix’s take on the future of marketing. (14:53)
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