And not in the poultry sense of the term, either.
Let's face it. Fast-food chicken products aren't made out of roosters, are they? No, they are made out of hens. The BK Web site CoqRoq.com-the latest foray into the Beavis and Buttheadization of advertising-is therefore unmistakably and unabashedly aimed below the belt.
Penis talk, in other words, designed to impress teenage boys.
Coq Roq is a fictitious band of typical headbangers, except these heads are shaped like chickens. It's essentially Subservient Chicken meets "Spinal Tap," parodying the brainless, thrashing nihilism of heavy metal by parroting it-or pulleting it-dead on. The songs: "Cross the Road," "Bob Your Head," "One-Armed Bandit" and-ahem-"Nice Box."
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a vagina joke-which fits ever so snugly around the campaign's central double-entendre. Perhaps that's why the group is fronted by lead guitarist Fowl Mouth. Get it? Yeah, it's about as subtle as a skateboarding accident, and truly childish.
Also, after some fast self-censorship, a pretty good campaign.
Now that news may come as a shock to AdReview's vast worldwide cult of disciples, as this column has repeatedly taken a firm (some might say reactionary) stand on the frontiers of decency against the Visigoths of bad taste. Citing the Golden Rule as the standard of respect for those in or out of the target audience who might be shocked, offended or embarrassed by sketchy material, we have asserted the following bedrock principle:
"It is sometimes permissible to offend the few in order to impress the many. It is never permissible to offend the many in order to impress the few."
The fact that juvenile rapscallions in 150 countries continue to flout this rule has budged us not one inch. Advertising has always been an uninvited guest wherever it appears, and thus has the responsibility to respect the sensibilities of those who encounter it.
But, here's the thing: Among the many revolutionary aspects of viral Web advertising is that it doesn't just show up uninvited. You have to go find it, and those who do find it know precisely what they are looking for. Various interest groups who have announced how shocked they are by BK's content had to sit at their keyboards, type in coqroq.com and dive right in.
And what they discovered is certainly far tamer than what's on "South Park" every night on basic cable and in just about every single movie their kids see every weekend of their snotty little lives. We happened to catch Will Ferrell on TV this week in "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy." We don't recall any furor over the "massive erection" gag. Also puerile. Pretty funny, though.
Now whether Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, and its client wish to risk boycott and associated bad press over such a gamble is another question. BK has already seen fit to remove the most obnoxious and sexually explicit of the material: namely snapshots of teenage girls with the Sharpie notation "Groupies Love Coq." That verged on child porn and truly was beyond the pale.
Of what remains, however, no kid will be corrupted because every kid who logs on-and who is playground-savvy enough to get the joke-has been pre-corrupted for the advertiser's convenience. Teenage boys don't need Burger King to have Coqs and hens on their minds.
No, this campaign isn't for us. But we don't mind, because this campaign isn't for us.
Review: 3 stars
Ad: Burger King
Agency: Crispin Porter & Bogusky