That Time A KFC Ad Was Visible From Space

You see them on the road. You see them on TV. You get them on your phone and your head them over the radio. Living in the modern world means that you'll have to put up with a constant flow of advertisements. Even if you don't live in a particularly large city with billboards everywhere, you still get commercials for everything from fast food to car insurance to iPhones. An eyesore? Reports from Marketing Dive and Marketing Week seem to lend credence to that conclusion. But imagine, just for fun, if there was one giant advertisement that was so big it could be seen from space?

Marketing over at KFC decided to make this dream a reality. In 2006, according to Condé Nast Traveler, KFC acquired a good chunk of land in the desert and assembled a portrait comprised of 65,000 one-foot square tiles over the course of six days. When it was complete, the face of Colonel Sanders gazed up at the stars with a lively twinkle in his eyes.

You could have seen the Colonel's face on Google Maps

According to Condé Nast Traveler, the enormous mosaic of Colonel Sanders' head was large enough to be viewed from space as part of KFC's marketing strategy to relaunch the brand. This included giving the good Colonel a slight makeover to appeal to the younger crowd, and apparently to astronauts and whatever extraterrestrials and Spaceman Spiffs out there among the cosmos.

Even more curious is the location of the advertisement. Per CBC, the ad was located in Rachel, Nevada, which is the home of the highly-classified and mysterious military base Area 51. Area 51 is best known for being the subject of countless conspiracy theories, including the discussion of aliens and UFOs. Gregg Dedrick, KFC's president at the time, even joked that should aliens exist, then they would want KFC to be the first restaurant they visit.

Fans of KFC could also win coupons to the restaurant by finding the secret message of "FINGER LICKIN' GOOD" hidden within the portrait of the Colonel's smiling face on Google Earth (via Condé Nast Traveler). While the advertisement has long since been removed, we're hopeful that whoever was out in space will come to discover the truth behind that man peering up at them all those years ago.