Pop quiz: What does KFC stand for? Who is Colonel Sanders? If you got even one out of two answers correct, we're betting you're a) Either over the age of 25, or b) You simply love your fried chicken. Why? USA Today reports that a study released by the chicken chain last week revealed that more than 6 in 10 Americans ages 18 to 25 (the restaurant's target demographic) were unable to identify Colonel Sanders — Kentucky Fried Chicken's original living, breathing, white-suited, string tied icon — in the KFC logo.
Colonel Sanders, who made famous the quip “finger lickin' good,” would have turned 120 years old this week. Shocking news to 5 in 10 survey respondents who believe he's a fictional icon. Worse yet, three in 10 have no clue who The Colonel even was. To clear up the confusion — in part the chain's fault for multiple name changes, a focus on grilled chicken and logo modifications — KFC is launching an online PR campaign.
According to the article, KFC will be using its Facebook presence, Twitter, MySpace, the KFC website and other digital outreach to introduce its key demographic to the Colonel. Considering KFC has all but stopped growing in the U.S. and nearly all 2010 growth is expected to be overseas, this outreach is a somewhat desperate attempt to connect to a lost audience. The pitch? KFC is asking consumers to create and upload a piece of art representing the Colonel. One “artist” will be selected to receive a commission to paint a new portrait of the Colonel, and will receive $1,100; that's $100 for each of the herbs and spices in the Original Recipe. The new portrait will temporarily hang alongside Rockwell's famous portrait of the Colonel, currently on display in the lobby of KFC headquarters. Artists can upload their custom sketches of the colonel here through September 30.