Where do you go for a quick fried chicken? The answer may not be what you think – looks like there’s a higher-ranking boss in town!

This week, Wendy’s NZ entered into new territory, launching a ‘superior’ range of fried chicken with the help of a new ambassador who they claim ‘outranks’ the competition.

Wendy’s new Japanese-style fried chicken range sees succulent chicken breast marinated in ginger and soy, coated in a crunchy karaage coating and deep fried – the juicy, tender chicken served both as bites with a zesty lemonnaise dipping sauce, and as a burger, with a single or double whole chicken breast fillet topped with lemonnaise and Japanese slaw.

With parent company Wendy’s US drawing attention this past week for its roasting of BK NZ’s chip butty, here the local franchise is also firing a light-hearted shot across the bow at a certain rival.

Set to roll out across TV, outdoor, radio, digital, social and other cheeky placements from today, a tongue-in-cheek campaign sees Wendy’s attempt to ‘outrank’ the competition with a real-life Brigadier General Stephen Sanders giving its fried chicken his ‘official’ endorsement.

Outranking the position of Colonel, and by extension that of ‘The Colonel himself’, Wendy’s New Zealand and agency partner Augusto flew the ‘more seasoned’ US military veteran all the way from Texas to Auckland to star in the boundary-pushing campaign.

“When we found our Brigadier General in Texas, the very home of fried chicken, we knew we had our man,” says Wendy’s CEO Danielle Lendich. “At first he thought it was all an elaborate joke. But after being convinced that we were in fact serious, he took to the role and made the most of the opportunity to see a bit of New Zealand while he was here.”

Believing this to be the first karaage style product a New Zealand QSR has brought to market, Lendich says the new Karaage Bites are juicy, tender and delicious by themselves, or can be dunked in a zingy lemonnaise sauce developed especially for Wendy’s by Hamilton’s Wild Country.

Also in the range is a Karaage Burger, available with a single or double whole chicken breast fillet that’s marinated, coated and deep fried karaage style, and topped with zesty lemonnaise and Japanese slaw, all on a toasted Kaiser bun.

Wendy’s new Karaage range is available for a limited time, 6-pack $8.50, 9-pack $12 and 12-pack bites $16.50, slaw $3.90, single fillet burger $10.90 and double fillet burger $14.90.