A month and a half ago, John Koay, charged with marketing Kentucky Fried Chicken to the youths of Hong Kong, sat down to brainstorm with a colleague how to re-invigorate the fast food chain’s infamous slogan: “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.”
They didn’t want to mimic McDonald’s happy meal toys or fall into the free t-shirt trap. Then he noticed his colleagues nice, manicured fingernails.
“Wouldn’t it be great if those tasted like KFC?” Koay asked.
And in that moment, KFC chicken-flavored nail polish became a real-life, this-is-not-a-joke, thing.
It’s literally finger lickin’ good, at least according to Koay.
“It actually tastes like chicken,” Koay said. “And the smell is amazing.”
For two weeks now, KFC Hong Kong has been teasing the nail polish on social media and YouTube. They even held a launch event in Hong Kong Tuesday, with celebrities, foodies and fashion bloggers, to promote the edible nail paint.
Packaged in a sleek designer bottle, the nail polish comes in two fried flavors — “Original Recipe” and “Hot & Spicy” — with coordinating colors, beige and burnt orange. Inside flecks of KFC’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices float around, waiting to be licked. Also, there are sparkles.
And the paint is preservative free.
“To use, consumers’ simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick – again and again and again,” the marketing company that Koay works for, Ogilvy & Mather, said in a statement.
The firm worked with food technologists at McCormick, the spice company that supplies Colonel Sanders’s secret recipe, to create the edible nail polish that’s made from natural ingredients.
KFC’s edible nail polish comes in two types of chicken flavors — “Original Recipe” and “Hot & Spicy.” (Ogilvy & Mather)
The shelf life is short, Koay said, but the bottle isn’t big. Coating all ten fingernails on both hands nearly exhausts one bottle. Koay estimates you can get a day’s worth of flavorful licks out of each application.
The back of the bottle reads: “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.” The phrase, Koay said, hasn’t lost its impact in the United States, but never got traction in Hong Kong, where KFC has nearly 60 stores. The nail polish accomplished both of his goals: to create a fun product that revived the phrase and bring young people to the brand.
“It made total sense to be at the end of everyone’s fingertips,” he said.
Right now, there are no concrete plans for when, or if, the nail polish will be mass produced. On Facebook, KFC asked fans to vote for which flavor they would prefer.