KFC Philippines appoints its own Filipino Colonel

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Nanette Franco-Diyco

THE NEW CREATIVE agency of KFC Philippines, Ogilvy & Mather, launched for the first time what they call the Filipino Colonel to incarnate the brand’s iconic colonel endorser connected to the global KFC logo. It’s a “result of a creative collaboration between KFC and Ogilvy.”

As per Caloy Sambrano, Ogilvy & Mather managing partner, the concept was born out of a desire to focus on KFC’s heritage and icons while still keeping everything fresh and fun. “It was inspired by the success of the US campaign that centered on the colonel — we wanted to see how we could take the iconic fried chicken forefather and make him relevant to Filipinos.”

It is the very first time the colonel is being localized, if I can call it that.

Viewing the auditions held for the very important branding of KFC online, I saw why actor Ronaldo Valdez, captioned as “The Loveable Lolo,” was picked for the role. I don’t know exactly what clients and agency were looking for. Leo Martinez, tagged as “The Charming Comedian,” and Pen Medina, tagged as “The Intense Actor,” both projected well; but it appears that in addition to acting, client and agency were simply hunting for the closest look-alike to the American colonel. And obviously, Ronaldo won hands down. For Leo and Pen to consent to have their auditions run online for KFC, I foresee some other roles for them in the future connected with KFC marketing.

His very first digital ad shows Ronaldo as KFC’s First Filipino Colonel holding a bucket of fried chicken in one hand and a drumstick in the other. Below the ad, he is quoted as saying: “I, the First Filipino Colonel, am here to lead the way for this nation of fried chicken lovers. And I’m also here to take over this KFC PH Facebook page! How y’all feeling about that?”

His question garnered a lot of responses, both positive and negative, more about KFC’s service than about the Filipino colonel.

Before this was his oath taking as the First Filipino Colonel, staged with a whole crowd of enthusiastic spectators, which formed part of the initial activities of the newly appointed colonel.

A fortnight ago appeared online what the Filipino Colonel tagged as his first Egg-xecutive Order. He presents an overflowing bucket of fried chicken drumsticks: “History has been made! My First Egg-xecutive Order finally puts the ‘chicken or egg’ mystery to rest. Try my new KFC Salted Egg Yolk Chicken coated with a crave-worthy salted egg yolk sauce!”

It is undoubtly an impactful beginning for Ogilvy & Mather Philippines with its brand new client. We are looking forward to more creative adventures as those we were witness to during KFC’s long-term relationship with TBWA\Santiago Mangada Puno. According to TBWA’s Melvin Mangada, they had to “resign KFC to handle a globally aligned McDo.”

Credits. Client company, KFC Philippines: Ajay Pahwa, Chacha Juinio, Rina Faustino, Patty Yupangco, Valene Ngo. Agency, Ogilvy & Mather, Philippines: Donna Dimayuga, Eia Garcia, Paulo Villones, Pia Bautista, Wacky Torres Art, James Mendoza, Caloy Sambrano, Toni Tiu, Gelo Guerrero, Emma Manalac, Carmela Bangsal, Jordan Wei. Ogilvy & Mather Regional Team: Reed Collins, Paul Matheson, Soames Hines, Jordan Wei. Production team: Film Pabrika, Hit Productions, Just Add Water.

Nanette Franco-Diyco ended her 15th year advertising career as Vice-President of JWT, segueing into the world of academe, teaching communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.