Inspiration for baby names can come from a bevy of places from dearly departed loved ones to generational names to that one beautiful name a mom-to-be or dad-to-be has always dreamed of giving their L.O. Now, KFC wants parents to consider finding inspired in Colonel Sanders, the founder of the fast food company. In a press release and on social media, KFC has announced that it will award $11,000 to the first baby born on September 9th, Sanders’ birthday, given the name Harland. The gift of $11,000 is "in honor of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices" and is intended for the newborn Harland’s college tuition.
It’s a great name for your baby. Just say it out loud. Harland. Plus, your greatly named kid could get $11,000 for college.— KFC (@kfc) August 29, 2018
The proposition is definitely a bit shocking.The contest definitely brings to mind the unfortunate financial strain families face when it comes to supporting children's higher education. The Atlantic asked KFC if the rising cost of college inspired the promotion, and the company replied: “Ever the entrepreneur, Colonel Sanders bounced back from a series of failed jobs and business ventures to found Kentucky Fried Chicken in his 60s. We couldn’t think of a better way to honor him than to help support Baby Harland’s future successes with a college donation.”
And of course, it's important to note that this would very much be a "donation" versus "full ride," considering the current cost of college and how it's doubtful it'll be less pricey when a baby born next month matriculates in 18-ish years.
Nonetheless, given that every penny counts, the contest may very well motivate some parents. Or perhaps names like Harland were already on their list. At any rate, KFC may very well be responsible for spiking the popularity of the baby name. We'll just have to see how many babies born on September 9 are entered in the eyebrow-raising contest.