In a demonstration of the early bird getting the worm (in this case the worm is a slather that makes you literally smell like a bird) Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Extra Crispy sunscreen is no longer available. The free sunscreen promised to keep you both “feeling delicious” and safe from UV radiation premiered Monday as a limited time offer and quickly was depleted by the hordes of individuals eager to smell like KFC’s 11 herbs and spices.
No stranger to gimmicks, this sunscreen may actually be KFC’s most helpful marketing ploy yet. The Extra Crispy lotion, described as “definitely real and definitely not edible,” could be a boon for sunbathers — if they in fact enjoy the not-so-subtle aroma of a bucket of chicken.
Humans are historically bad at sunscreen: The American Academy of Dermatology says that most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the amount of sunscreen that they actually need, and don’t wait the necessary 15 minutes for it to sink in and do its thing. And once people do make it into the sun, they forget to reapply. So perhaps if smelling like fried chicken is your jam, you’ll be more inclined to apply sunscreen more thoroughly and more frequently.
While we’re not sure how much people will want to effuse the 11-herbs-and-spices scent of poultry, KFC’s got science on its side: There’s an intimate relationship between memory and smells. Odors trigger recollections of autographical experiences, so if you had a particularly warm relationship with fried chicken, a whiff of Extra Crispy sunscreen can take you back to those good ol’ times. It’s less about your love of the smell of fried chicken and more about the induced memory of snacking on some wings.