Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What's Old Is New

The new Col. Sanders and Hamburglar
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Over the last couple of weeks, fast food giants KFC and McDonald's have announced the return of vintage mascots.  Col. Sanders, the man who started Kentucky Fried Chicken 75 years ago, will be used again in advertising as will the mischievous Hamburglar for McDonald's.

Hamburglar in the 1970's
I have mixed reactions to these iconic characters from my childhood returning.  Yes, I am a fool for old school.  But I think the new Hamburglar is a bit too creepy, even for a bad guy.  I haven't heard any positive comments on this updated version of the fictional thief.  He's a far cry from his cartoonish former self.  He really does look like a criminal.  If Mickey D's wants my attention with a classic character, I'd make the argument to bring back Grimace.  He was always my favorite, even more so than Ronald McDonald himself.  

Vintage Colonel
The new Col. Sanders is being played Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond.  I think the company hit the nail on the head with this selection.  The real Col. Sanders died more than 35 years ago, but the company hopes change its image and bring in new customers with the iconic figure.  The ad campaign rolls out Memorial Day weekend.

I'm no marketing expert, but as a consumer I think it's great that they're reviving characters from my childhood.  I don't eat a lot of fast food, so no matter what gimmick is used, it's not going to persuade or prevent me from eating at their establishments.  I do hope this continues to motivate other companies to revive other blasts from the pasts.  Maybe Herb will be back pitching for Burger King.

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