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KFC Offers $11,000 If You Name Your Baby After Colonel Sanders

Margaret Tionquiao

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The selection of names have always been a long and tedious process. Most expecting parents take months and tons of suggestions before they even decide on a shortlist of possible names for their babies. This year, KFC is making the selection process just a little bit tougher.

To commemorate the 128th birthday of KFC’s famed founder, Colonel Sanders, the fast-food chain is spearheading a naming contest. The stunt is launched after the fried chicken company noted that the name of their esteemed patriarch only ranked 3,257 in the list of common baby names.The last time it cracked the top 1,000 names for American baby boys was about 70 years ago. Even in 1918 — the year that produced the most Harlands — only 155 of them were born.

In exchange for bumping up Colonel Sanders’ name on the list of common baby names in the US, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) decided to honor him with a stunt which they called, ‘Name Your Baby Harland’ contest.

“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,” Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for KFC U.S., said in a statement, according to Restaurant Business magazine.

KFC’s offer: College funds to the tune of $11,000 (a nod to KFC’s 11 secret spices and herbs), in exchange for calling your baby "Harland."

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If you’re an expecting parent and are willing to make that commitment, then this contest is for you.

How to join

There are several qualifications to join KFC’s newest contest.

The participating newborn has to be born on the same day as this guy was, September 9.

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Expecting parents have to make the decision and choose the name "Harland" for the baby.

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Source: Today Show

But of course, there is a catch.

The award $11,000 only goes to the first baby born on September 9, legally bearing the name Harland.

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KFC's marketing ploy ignited mixed reactions.

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Alicia Kelso, a writer who writes about restaurants for Forbes, shakes her head saying, “We’re about to see just how committed the KFC faithful is. In a vortex of over-the-top, gimmicky marketing schemes, this could very well be KFC’s most outrageous ploy yet.”

Joe Pinsker of The Atlantic also expressed disappointment at KFC for stripping parents of their ‘naming rights.’ He said, “It is sad to think of the conversation young Harland’s parents might someday have with him, explaining that he is named for the respected patriarch not of his family but of the company that makes the Double Down.”

If you are this baby, is it worth it?

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Is it worth saying that the story of your name is a product of a dystopian marketing campaign twenty or so years down the road?

Let’s hope your parents decide well.

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