On the heels of the debut of its Cheetos Sandwich, KFC has nabbed the cat that has become synonymous with the crunchy orange corn puffs, Chester Cheetah, as its latest celebrity colonel.
Yesterday, the animated orange cheetah hosted a pop-up event in New York City to kick off his colonel-dom, giving guests a crunch of the new sandwich, along with other related items, a news release said. The brand icon — nearly as famous as Col. Harland Sanders himself — is taking over KFC’s social channels, along with the nation’s TV screens, when ad spots begin June 30 and run until the end of July as part of a co-branding partnership between the chicken and Cheetos purveyors.
“The combination of these two finger lickin’ good favorites — our famous fried chicken and Cheetos — was a no brainer,” KFC U.S. CMO Andrea Zahumensky, said in the release. “After a very popular test market we knew we had to introduce it nationwide, and a sandwich this anticipated needed a colonel like we’ve never seen before. There was no one better ‘suited’ than Chester Cheetah himself.”
The maker of the dusty orange puffs, Frito-Lay, agreed the partnership was a natural for each business.
“We have a massive fan base that loves experiencing the Cheetos brand in new ways, and we hope we delight our fans with our best collaboration yet,” Frito-Lay North America Senior Director of Marketing Dena von Werssowetz, said in the release. “The merging of our two iconic brands is sure to be a phenomenon.”
As part of the launch, KFC will also introduce the Cheetos Lovers Box meal, which includes the Cheetos sandwich, Popcorn Nuggets drizzled in Cheetos sauce, mac-and-cheese, wedges and a medium drink. No word on how they’ll get the orange imprint out of the Colonel’s famous white suit once the cat has slipped out of it.