It seems like Kentucky Fried Chicken is always doing a strange promotion. Remember KFC-scented sunscreen? Or candles that smelled like fried chicken? How about the Chizza, a pizza with a fried-chicken crust? The restaurant chain’s latest wacky marketing ploy has nothing to do with chicken, and is actually quite heartwarming!
In honor of Col. Sanders’ 128th birthday, which is on Sept. 9, KFC wants new parents to name their baby after him.
“Col. Harland David Sanders was born on Sept. 9, 1890. Ever the entrepreneur, Harland Sanders did things the hard way,” states a press release from KFC. “Harland’s grit, passion and fervor are what KFC wants to instill into the next generation.”
Aside from simply honoring its founding father, KFC is offering an $11,000 college fund to the first baby Harland born on Sept. 9. Why $11,000? Because of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices, obviously!
“Harland is a name that is on the decline … together, we can fix that,” according to a video from KFC promoting the contest on Twitter. The company also said “old man names are cool again” but that Harland doesn’t seem to be part of that trend.
“Even though vintage names are making a comeback, our iconic founder’s name was dwindling in popularity, and we couldn’t just stand idly by and let that happen,” said Andrea Zahumensky, KFC’s U.S. chief marketing officer. “We hope that this birthday celebration honors the Colonel and encourages the next generation of people aspiring to live the American dream.”
According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, Harland ranked #3,257 on the list of most common baby names for 2017.
For those expectant parents interested in participating, head to the online sign-up page, which will accept entries starting Sept. 9 and ending on Oct. 9.
“If you’re planning on naming your baby Harland, happen to have your baby on Sept. 9, and want to enter your lucky, little bundle of joy into our contest, please return after you’ve had your baby and before the contest entry period ends on Oct. 9th at 11:59 pm EST,” stated the page as of Aug. 31.
And, in case you were wondering how Sanders got his title, he became “the colonel” in 1935 after his fried chicken operation became so big that he was named an honorary colonel by then-Kentucky Gov. Ruby Laffoon.
So, will the prize money sway you to name your baby after this legendary chicken chef? If so, you’ll have a great story for people who ask where you came up with the name Harland!