Yesterday, KFC launched a website promoting a giveaway for 3000 bottles of SPF 30 that smells like fried chicken. Why, you ask? I have no f*cking clue. But here are the top 10 reasons it disturbs me:
1. The number of times KFC has to enforce that "Yes, this is real."
As much as you might wish for better in the world... someone actually proposed the idea of sunscreen (a product that makes you feel greasy and gross upon application) that exudes the scent of fried chicken (a food that makes you feel greasy and gross upon consumption) to a conference table full of paid professionals and they said YES, that's a good idea. And so it was.
2. The number of times KFC has to enforce that you should not eat the product.
Repeat, do NOT eat this product. It smells like food, but it is not edible. In fact, in the promo video, KFC points out that the sunscreen is a perfect solution for those moments when you find yourself outside in the glaring sun wishing you smelled like fried chicken, but you are not hungry, so you will not be eating fried chicken. Because this is a common life quandary.
3. The primary selling point for this product is that it makes your skin smell like meat in the heat.
And this is why the product was given away for free.
4. KFC believes that this sort of thing is how you effectively communicate with the "millennial crowd."
Look, I fall within the target audience. And I like fried chicken, I buy it from time to time--sometimes, from KFC. But offering me free fried poultry scented sunscreen will have literally zero effect on how frequently I buy fried chicken. This marketing ploy has not filled me with a desire to buy chicken, it has not filled me with amusement, it has not made me laugh, it has only inspired me to write this blog post about how dumb this sh*t is. I'm not trying to be an asshole, but... handing me some free mashed potatoes with gravy is infinitely more likely to get me into the door of a KFC. Because unlike Extra Crispy™ sunscreen, I can eat mashed potatoes. And giving me things that I can eat (safely) is, to me, the purpose of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
5. KFC clearly spent money on this gimmick.
Because maybe their past gimmicks such as fried chicken flavored nail polish (which is edible), fried chicken cell phone cases, boxes of fried chicken that charge your fried chicken covered smart phone must have worked out really well?
6. This line: “Harmful ultraviolet rays bounce off your skin while the lovely fragrance rays penetrate it to give you a healthy chicken aroma.”
What the f*ck is a healthy chicken aroma??
7. George Hamilton playing an "extra crispy" Colonel Sanders is still creepy as f*ck.
And this campaign is a rather grotesque reminder of that. Woof.
8. The promotion, which was announced yesterday, is already over.
So if you legitimately wanted a bottle of SPF 30 that makes you smell like fast food, you can't have any. Not for free anyway. Last I checked, the bidding is up to $76 on Ebay. The seller has confirmed, "It does smell like chicken."
9. If you did manage to get a free bottle through the promotional website, it'll take about 8 weeks to get to you.
Chicken fried sunscreen... exactly what everyone needs to fuel their autumnal activities.
10. The whole implication of this product is confusing as hell.
I feel like I'm supposed to believe that if I use it, I will look like the Extra Crispy™ Colonel--he is the spokesperson. But the Extra Crispy™ Colonel personifies Extra Crispy™ skinned chicken. And the idea of sunscreen is that it protects your skin from ever looking like that (even the website says that only the only thing that should have Extra Crispy™ skin is your chicken)... but the product is called KFC Colonel Sanders' Extra Crispy™ Sunscreen, not KFC Colonel Sanders' Anti-Extra Crispy™ Sunscreen. And I don't want to end up looking like the Colonel with that Extra Crispy™ skin... if I look like that, my mom will definitely start losing her sh*t at me about skin cancer like she did when I was 16 and addicted to self-searing in the tanning bed. Not to mention, for as many times as KFC warns consumers not to eat the product, there is absolutely no fine print to be found about regularly reapplying the product. And speaking as an inherently fair skinned human being, that's blatantly irresponsible.