KFC, part of YUM Brands, has kicked off a media agency review in the U.S., the fast-food chain disclosed Thursday. Incumbent MEC, which has handled the assignment for the better part of a decade has elected not to defend.
The brand spent an estimated $224 million on ads in the U.S. last year, according to Kantar Media. For the first quarter of 2016, it spent $55.2 million, down a little more than $1 million from the first quarter of 2015.
KFC has enlisted search consultant Selected International Resources to assist with the review.
KFC issued this statement: “KFC U.S. today announced that, as part of its regular resource due diligence, it has begun a review of agencies for the media planning and buying responsibilities of its general-market business in the United States. The search seeks to identify and select a world-class agency capable of deploying innovative media strategies while leveraging cost efficiencies and maximizing return on investment. “
The chain said it expects to complete the review process and appoint its new media AOR later this year.
The scope of the assignment will include media planning and buying across all channels, including digital and social media, per the brand.
Word of the review comes simultaneously with the release of the latest installment of KFC’s ongoing creative campaign. It features a growing regiment of new spokespersons adapting the persona of the brand’s iconic “Colonel.” The latest: actor/comedian Rob Riggle.
The tongue-in-cheek story line includes “Colonel” Riggle’s interest in bringing the first professional football team to Kentucky—the Kentucky Buckets.
To promote the new “franchise,” KFC created a Tumblr page which serves as the “Home of the Kentucky Buckets memorabilia archive.”
Here is one of the new Riggle spots.