Fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken is currently highlighting their Famous Bowls through a new marketing campaign that may leave you scratching your head.
On January 10th, in Brooklyn, New York, KFC hosted a pop-up event offering consumers a free “bowl”-style haircut to celebrate the restaurant’s new Spicy Famous Bowl - which features a new Nashville Hot sauce - and $3 Original Famous Bowl promotional pricing.
The event enlisted the help of hairstylists to treat willing participants to one of five bowl-styled haircuts, which included the “Original Recipe,” the “Spork and Bowl,” the “Over the Top,” the “Colonel's Stripes,” and the “Gravity Fall.” Participants received a gift card for a KFC Famous Bowl with the chance for their photo to be featured on KFC’s Twitter profile; the latter of which has not yet happened.
"I can't believe we are actually selling a pound of delicious food for just $3...,” stated KFC U.S. CMO Andrea Zahumensky in a press release. “...and I also can't believe bowl cuts are making a comeback, but here we are."
If the news of bowl haircuts making a comeback is surprising to you, you are not alone.
For those who may not remember, the bowl cut was a relatively common haircut during the 90’s. In fact, one 90’s star appears to be pretty excited about KFC’s Famous Bowl promotion, as Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter, posted a picture of his 90’s ‘do on Twitter, exclaiming excitement for the bowls, accompanied by the hashtag of “90sareback.” The post wasn’t even a paid endorsement, so he must be really love Famous Bowls. It remains to be seen if Carter will go all-in and return to the hairstyle he sported at the beginning of his career.
It is a bold marketing move to associate hair and anything food-related. However, KFC can probably any publicity that it can get, especially considering the rise in popularity of Korean fried chicken. For instance, quick-service fried chicken competitor, Bonchon, is reportedly closing the gap with KFC, having grown by 35% in 2017.
KFC’s hashtag for its promotion (#KFCFamousBowlCuts) doesn’t seem to be doing too well on Twitter, with a total count of six tweets at the time of this writing. The fact that no pictures from the event have surfaced yet is also slightly telling. It will be interesting to see how well the Famous Bowls do in the long-run with its promotional pricing, but perhaps the pop-up event itself was a bit too hair-raising for the regular patrons of KFC.