KFC is the biggest American fast-food chain in China, where it’s obviously best-known for its chicken. But it’s also been selling freshly ground coffee since last year, and it wanted to convince people it was serious about its new offering.
The brand, working with Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai, cut a mini-music video featuring Colonel Sanders doing a cover of a Chinese folk song, but with a bluegrass twist. The lyrics–in Mandarin–explain that the Colonel’s chickens are jealous of all the time he’s devoting to his coffee. The action is set on an airplane, because the Colonel is coming back from to China from Kentucky, and the flight attendants line-dance and play the banjo. Actor Stoney Westmoreland, who hasn’t played the Colonel in other markets, speaks Chinese with a Kentucky-inflected accent.
It’s a quirky, unexpected offering from a brand that often relies on Chinese celebs in its campaigns; recently superstar Chinese singer Lu Han has often appeared, sometimes dressed as the colonel, though he’s only 27. KFC often works with Ogilvy & Mather in China, though it tapped Wieden & Kennedy Shanghai for the first time for this campaign.
The campaign also includes in-store takeovers, out-of-home ads and funny coffee stirrers topped with tiny plastic chicken leg drumsticks.