Finger Lickin' Gross: KFC Goes Too Far
Happy Tuesday! Let's discuss how gross humans' fingers are, ridiculous product creation and, in my humble opinion, bad marketing.
What's got me grossed out and ticked off this time? Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong teaming up with food technologists at McCormick — the folks behind the Colonel's secret mix of spices and herbs — to create edible finger nail polish for KFC Hong Kong.
How disgusting? Well, various bacteria, fungus and yeast call the fingertips home. Staphlococcus aureus can be found under nails, and can cause all sorts of skin infections, as well as boils and abscesses. On. Your. Face.
And yet ... despite this, the folks at Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong thought, "Hey, you know what could drum up some excitement in Hong Kong for KFC's fried chicken? LICKABLE NAIL POLISH ... P.S. It also contains glitter."
From Ogilvy's creative director John Koay:
The recipe for our edible nail polish is unique and was specifically designed to hold the flavor, but to also dry with a glossy coat similar to normal nail polish. This campaign is designed to be intriguing and fun to increase excitement around the KFC brand in Hong Kong.
Isn't fried chicken exciting enough? But this parade of "What Were They Thinking?!" keeps marching on. From TIME:
KFC has released [a] music video celebrating the breakthrough in chicken technology, in which one person displays his nails while dancing, and another licks hers in shots when she is not solving a rubix cube.
Breakthrough in chicken technology? It's NAIL POLISH.
For your viewing displeasure, my dear readers, here is that video. I only hope you don't spontaneously combust with rage over downright ridiculous product creation and useless marketing.
As for me, this is my reaction every time I see that video, and I'm pretty sure IT is sick of me destroying computers.
Reading various articles and social postings, the reaction is either to simply report on the product — which comes in Original or Hot & Spicy flavors — or to be disgusted. No one is really saying, "This is what has been missing from my life!"
— Vickie MacFadden (@VickieMacFadden) May 6, 2016
I'm a firm believer in creating and marketing worthwhile products. Does that mean I'm anti-fun? No. But there are limits, and lickable nail polish exceeds the limits for me.
I'd be curious about what David Ogilvy would have thought of this campaign, were he still alive. Something tells me that the man behind "The Man in the Hathaway Shirt" ad and AmEx "Don't leave home without it" tagline would not be amused. And he'd probably find a really classy way of saying so.