First there was Subservient Chicken. Now there is a sadistic chicken at Burger King.
Burger King will bring back its wildly popular Chicken Fries, but where they will appear are subject to the whims of a real, live chicken named Gloria. Starting today, Burger King, because it can't keep up the demand of Chicken Fries, is handing off "all Chicken Fries-related affairs to an ever-so-spontaneous being: a chicken named Gloria," according to a press release titled "Is a chicken in charge of Burger King restaurants?"
Burger King brought back Chicken Fries, one of its best-selling items, last summer, nine years after its debut. The chicken strips in fry formation sold out a few months after their reintroduction in August. According to the statement, "executives for the Burger King brand have agonized over the decision of whether or not to bring them back," though it is not clear what stressed them out or why they agonized over the decision. So Gloria is apparently now in charge of the fate of her fellow fowl.
Specifically, the chain is taking the chicken on what it's calling a "national Random Gloria tour," beginning today in New York and then fanning out across the country. She will appear at select Burger King locations and will determine whether that location will sell chicken fries on that particular day. She will choose whether locations will carry Chicken Fries by pecking into one of two bowls that say "yes" or "no."
Burger King said that "enthusiasts" are invited to come cheer on Gloria in person or watch the live stream at www.chickenfries.com as she makes her decision. The digital and social effort will include the hashtags #RandomGloria, #ChickenFries. David, the company's lead global agency, is behind the idea.
Limited-time offers are a staple in the fast food world and the marketing is ciritcal to bringing customers through the doors. In this case, to stand out, Burger King is making the product available for an extremely limited time -- one day, if the chicken says yes -- and generating interest based on the idea that a chicken will randomly decide whether her compatriots will be eaten (although she might run afould of other fowl). "Gloria is just helping Burger King decide if Chicken Fries will be in certain restaurant or not," said a spokeswoman. "The decision required a new level of creative thinking."
"Each day when she arrives with her expert handler, she will ascend from her plush coop onto her custom decision-making stage and randomly choose whether or not Chicken Fries will return to that Burger King restaurant," said the release. "Like it or not, Gloria has the final word. She can't be bought, seduced or swayed. After the decision, fans can take celebratory or sad-face photos with her."
It is not clear how many locations Gloria will stop at each day, or how long the stunt will go on for. But it appears that that Burger King is hoping the move will resonate as well as the bizarre ideas like Subservient Chicken, Whopper Freakout and the fictional band Coq Roq -- all work from CP&B in the mid to late 2000s -- did. Burger King last spring resurrected Subservient Chicken.