You don’t get to conquer the world without giving people plenty of crap that they definitely don’t need. For almost as long as businesses have been trying to flog us stuff, salesmen and women have come up with useless added extras to sweeten the deal. Capitalism is like that.
Fast food brands know this all too well. It’s why with many burgers you’re likely to get something small, shiny and plastic designed to tempt you back in. Most of the time, these ploys are too dull and inconsequential to warrant much though. Every so often however, the industry decides to do something so unbelievably daft that it demands a second look. Here are the eight weirdest bits of fast food merch ever made.
1. Burger Perfume
As delicious as most grills may smell, no one really wants to spend the entire day whiffing of dead animals and grease. That didn’t stop Burger King from releasing their own “Flame-Grilled” fragrance in 2015. Available only Japan, the bottle cost a whopping $41 and came with a free burger - presumably to add the aroma.
2. Chicken Candle
Fried chicken is one of those smells that you might like the idea of, but becomes a completely different prospect when it’s seeping into your furniture. But, for anyone who’s ever wondered what it feels like to live in the back of a KFC, we recommend these original recipe-scented candles. Finger smellin’ good.
3. Pizza Decks
Fast food is normally best kept simple, without involving too much tech. Pizza Hut beg to differ. In 2016, they revealed that they had created the world’s first ever playable DJ pizza box, filling a gap in the market that absolutely no one knew had existed.
4. Chicken Sunscreen
The one thing we all know about proper fried chicken is that it should be crispy. Applying the same logic to your suntan doesn’t seem to stand up to scrutiny. That being said, when KFC released their own, “extra crispy” factor 30 suntan lotion in 2016, all 3,000 bottles were snapped up almost immediately. Go Figure.
5. Pizza Jacket
It’s not often that free merch is both cool AND practical, but somehow Pizza Hut managed it. Released as a celebration of National Pizza Month, this bright red jacket came complete with polyester fibre padding, splash guard and a see through screen for your phone. Sexy.
6. Chicken Bomb
Even if you love the smell of a freshly made bucket, you’d be hard pressed to think that hopping into a KFC flavoured bath would be a good idea. Despite how horrible this idea sounds to most respectable members of society, the fast food giants still decided to release their own chicken bath bomb in 2017.
7. Chicken Charger
At this point, it’s fair to say that KFC have cornered the market in silly giveaways. The crown jewel in their arsenal, however, might just be their box that can double as a phone charger. It’s easy to laugh, but this is one gift that we’d actually be fairly happy to get. If you throw enough crap at a wall, some will inevitably stick.
8. Sex Toys
At the polar opposite end of the Happy Meal scale of family-friendly fun, you have this freebie from Burger King. Their "Adults' Meal" came complete with two Whoppers, two beers and one toy, which could include a tickler, eye mask or massager. Fun for a very select section of the family.
If these ideas prove anything, it’s that it’s getting harder and harder to come up with a good giveaway. As soon as you’re trying to get your customers to smell like a burger, you know you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. We dread to think what could be on the horizon.