Burger King Launches Chicken Fries Emoji Keyboard

Quirky Campaign Backs Wildly Popular Item Now Put On Permanent Menu

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Just a week after Burger King sent a chicken named Gloria on the road to choose what locations will offer Chicken Fries, the company has put the product on the menu nationally for an "unlimited" time.

The newly permanent item will be available starting today, with TV spots supporting the launch breaking March 26. When Burger King brought back Chicken Fries back last August after a nine-year absence, the chicken strips in fry formation sold out a few months.

It's clear why the company is introducing them permanently. In November, the chain reported third quarter U.S. and Canada same-store sales rose 3.6%, largely because of the Chicken Fries reintroduction. The product helped fuel the biggest sales bump in the chain's U.S. and Canada outlets in two years, according to Burger King.

The work was created by David, its lead global agency. The chain continues to work with Pitch on U.S. work, along with its other agencies like Code & Theory, a spokeswoman said.

Last week the chain launched a campaign in which it made Gloria the centerpiece of the effort. Burger King took Gloria on a "national Random Gloria tour," which began in New York and then fanned out from there. She appeared at select Burger King locations and determined whether that location will sell chicken fries on that particular day by pecking into one of two bowls that said "yes" or "no."

"The excitement was so palpable that following the tour, there was only one card to play and that was to make Chicken Fries available for everyone, for good," said a press release. "The conviction of Chicken Fries fans never ceases to amaze us," said Eric Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer of North America, in the statement.

As part of the promotion, Burger King is looking to tap into the popularity of Emojis and has created a Chicken Fries emoji keyboard that will be available starting today in the iTunes App Store and Google Play store for free.

Burger King Emoji Keyboard
Burger King Emoji Keyboard

The tone of the new Chicken Fries work seems to be swinging back toward the edginess that marked the chain's campaigns of the mid- and late-2000s when its agency was MDC Partners' CP&B. Last April, Burger King resurrected its well-known Subservient Chicken site, originally created by CP&B with the Barbarian Group, for the promotion of its then-new Chicken Big King sandwich.

The new TV spots have a quirkier tone that much of its advertising in recent years with live chickens given voice-overs. In one, a male chicken is swiping his was through a Tinder-like dating app with his claw, rejecting multiple potential mates, until his interest is piqued when he come across French fries. In another ad, a teenage daughter-chicken tries to sneak out of the house for a date with French fries, but her father catches her. In both ads, a voice-over says, "There's just no stopping true love."

The spots are presumably aimed at a younger audience, though a spokeswoman didn't offer much comment beyond, "The spots' inspiration is you can't stop true love."

Burger King isn't the only fast-food chain to want to make emojis specific to their product. Taco Bell has been circulating a petition to get an official taco Emoji added to the arsenal of emoticons.

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