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Deep fried design: Redcactus gets a call-up from the Colonel

Auckland branding agency Redcactus picked up three gongs at the global Pentawards recently and it’s celebrating another coup with the completion and publication of Col. Harland Sanders – The Autobiography of the Original Celebrity Chef for KFC.

redcactus kfc colonel sanders book

Redcactus landed the Col. Sanders project after it was asked to present design ideas to KFC’s US chief marketing officer and then tasked with working on KFC’s US-wide domestic consumer branding account across strategic branding and packaging projects.

The book is based on an original manuscript of the Colonel’s, unearthed earlier this year by an employee going through the company’s Kentucky archive. While it contains a host of the Colonel’s recipes, the famous secret 11 herbs and spices KFC is best known for are not among them.

Just 2280 hard copies of the exclusive book were printed in Auckland amid tight security and shipped to the US.

“The hard copy editions are for KFC VIPs only,” says Redcactus’ managing director Chris Chong. “The heightened security meant all proofs and print trials had to be destroyed. The printing plates are currently securely stored and will be sent to the US to be put into the KFC vault in Louisville, Kentucky.

“We also had to certify that the first 11 copies printed and to come off the binding machines were tagged, as they will go into the vault, alongside the Colonel’s secret 11 herbs and spices recipe.”

redcactus kfc book colonel sanders

Redcactus has been the consumer branding agency for Yum! Restaurants International-KFC Australia for the past eight years (one of its Pentawards was for its work on KFC across the ditch).

“Being tasked with the responsibility of working on both the Australian and US businesses has been a result of long-term relationships based on trust, experience and creative delivery,” says Chong. “We have built up a strong knowledge of the brand, and this shows through in our work. However, there is no time to sit and admire our own work. Designing this book raised the profile of Redcactus among KFC’s leadership team, and so does the great creative work we do in Australia and the US. This is an incredibly exciting time for our agency. With a company as big, and a brand as high profile as KFC, it’s all about our continued performance and creative excellence. We know we have to keep coming up with the big ideas.”

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