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With crazy ad campaigns revolving around everything from an $11,000 prize for the first baby named Harland, to 2016’s out-there antics of Extra Crispy Colonel, you might expect that the marketing minds behind those KFC ads would be  a “bubble off-center,” as they say.

But the man in charge of KFC’s ad campaigns, Director of Marketing George Felix, told Hughes Director of Enterprise Solutions Tim Tang, sometimes the brand launches off-the-wall promotions without fully realizing how truly risky they actually are.

Felix said in retrospect the brazenness the brand showed in more or less raising the beloved chicken chain’s white-haired founder, Harland Sanders, from the grave more than 30 years after his death, was indeed a little bold, now that he thinks back on it. But fortunately for those who’ve been delighted by the multi-year campaign theme, it has not only been well received by consumers, but it’s accomplished some mean feats for elevating the brand and its products in consumers’ eyes.

This interview took place at the most recent U.S. Restaurant Franchising & Innovation Summit in Louisville. Registration is now open for the next franchising summit in Louisville this coming March. 

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