ITV 50 Years of Fame: Private view - KFC

Residents' associations in uptight London areas would vote against the Colonel moving into their deli-filled high streets. It's fast food and that means it has no class.

Bargain buckets for 99p ... no thanks, unless it's been a fantastic Friday night with far too many and the once-feathered friend between a bap or in a bucket might just fend off that fierce hangover.

KFC's reputation was "cheap" and the first spot on the reel does nothing but emphasise that (1). The second is a bizarre ad with Ivana Trump asking her partner to buy her a tower ... a Tower Burger (5). Get it? There's more ham and cheese than chicken in this ad.

The next ad is for KFC salads (3). It shows sexy-looking people chilling on a hazy, lazy summer day. Fantastic viewing, accompanied by what would be one of my desert island discs: Marlena Shaw singing California Soul.

The Colonel's performance in this ad is so vastly enhanced that he must surely be due for a drugs test. How can he explain the difference in production values? Simple. He's changed agencies and he is now a client of Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

BBH suddenly gave KFC a makeover using its magic formula. Strong visuals and an equally strong soundtrack to communicate the new "Soul Food" strategy.

There's no singing Colonel tossing his limp lettuce. The brand was being represented with a sense of respect just by adding a new endline and choosing a class "soul" track. The Colonel had had an expensive-looking makeover and those who had previously disapproved now openly accepted him. The brand snobbery disappeared overnight.

I was eager to see which ad was next on the tape. Would it be the one where everybody is dancing in the community hall to Frank Wilson's Do I Love You? Would it be the commercial set in the record shop High Fidelity-style with Bobby Garrett on vocals? Or maybe the kids playing football floodlit by car headlights while Laura Greene sings soulfully? I was excited but confused ... Should I sprinkle talc on the parquet and pretend I can dance like a "soul boy"? Or should I press pause and run down the high street and blow my 99p on a bargain bucket? Which would scare the wife the most?

The dilemma and confusion didn't last for long. The next ad showed a red-headed father at home with a house full of red-headed children and a pregnant red headed missus (4). It's slightly bizarre and feels more like a cereal ad. Soul food doesn't seem to fit here, although the brand's colour definitely comes across. The initial excitement of BBH's makeover was wearing out and the Colonel's old habits were creeping back - he has clearly had enough of climbing the social ladder and was trying to get back to his red roots.

The next spot shows a family sitting watching TV when the son walks into the room dressed in his "New Romantic togs" and Flock of Seagulls hair cake on his head (6). It's like watching a cross between The Royle Family, Jerry Springer The Opera and some 80s sitcom. What's going on?

From confused excitement to fear and worry ... what was coming next? I pushed myself into the back of the armchair - no, no, please not people singing with their mouths full ...

In fact, the reel ends here, although the KFC brand is everywhere. When travelling abroad, it always hits me that the Colonel has got there first.

Is it mere coincidence that he bears such an uncanny resemblance to Alan Whicker?

1. KFC FAMILY FEAST Title: Flash Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1996 2. KFC FAMILY FEAST Title: Animated Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1999 3. WARM CHICKEN SALAD Title: Street Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Year: 2003 4. KFC FAMILY FEAST Title: Big family Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Year: 2003 5. KFC ZINGER TOWER BURGER Title: Trumped Rev Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Year: 1999 6. KFC VARIETY BUCKET Title: Flock of Seagulls Agency: Bartle Bogle Hegarty Year: 2004

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