The TV commercial opens slowly. White letters on a black background tell us that Col. Harland Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Then a familiar white-goateed figure tells us, "If you give people a good meal at a fair price, they'll come back."
Nice to see the Colonel back. Many of us learned to like fast food by eating his chicken, fried using a coating of secret ingredients (once upon a time, dear children, Kentucky Fried Chicken came in only one flavor).But there's only one problem here:
The Colonel's been dead for 14 years. That guy on TV's a fake!
All right, so's the guy playing Dean Witter in the brokerage's ads. For that matter, the gorillas throwing around American Tour-ister luggage aren't the original gorillas, so you could call them fakes.
But somehow, it isn't the same as a fake Col. Sanders.
See, we really believed the Colonel when he said in TV ads that the chicken he developed was better than anybody else's. After all, he did develop a great recipe for chicken, using pressure cookers, and started a franchising system now run by PepsiCo.
And somehow, no matter how good an actor he is, that guy on TV - his name is Henderson Forsythe, by the way - just isn't the real Colonel.
And even though KFC says it tried hard not to have the actor say anything the real Colonel wouldn't and claims that the real Colonel didn't say anything in short enough sound bites to use in today's commercials, why not use the real thing?
After all, we all came to love the real Colonel and see him as the personification of Southern gentility, even though he was a former gas station operator from Indiana who turned to chicken when the gas station failed. We all knew from experience his chicken was finger-lickin' good.