Burger King : BK's Subservient Chicken Explodes

At least one marketer isn't shying away from suggestive advertising in the wake of Nipplegate.

Published On
May 17, 2004

Editor's Pick

Burger King and agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky take "Have It Your Way" to a whole new level in a breaking campaign for the new TenderCrisp chicken sandwich. The effort features a character called the Subservient Chicken, a guy in a chicken suit who aims to please, a setup for the line "Chicken: Just the way you like it." In two spots -- the campaign was directed by MJZ's Rocky Morton -- we see a man lecherously thumbing through a stack of Polaroids and instructing the submissive mascot on what to wear and what music to play. In a third commercial, two women trick the chicken into bending over so they can get a better view of the character's hindquarters. And that's just the broadcast work.

The effort also features a website -- www.subservientchicken.com -- that mimics a live webcam in which the chicken seems to obey users' commands. The site, executed by The Barbarian Group in Boston, has been a pretty hot meme since launching last week, at least judging from the effort people have put in to reverse-engineering it. This site, for example, lists all 334 of the chicken's actions and the words that trigger them -- or did trigger them. Burger King has stayed one step ahead of the bloggers and rerouted all the old links to a shot of the chicken wagging his finger into the camera.

"It's blown up multiple times beyond what I expected," says CP+B executive creative director Alex Bogusky. "We've had things take off before, but this was an explosion." The agency released a beta of the site last Wednesday, and by Thursday, it had drawn a million hits. A week later, it has more than 15 million, in part -- Bogusky speculates -- because people were fascinated by how the live webcam effect was achieved. "I think the fact that people were dissecting it helped it explode," he says.

Credits

Date
May 18, 2004
Executive Creative Director:
Alex Bogusky
Associate Creative Director:
Rob Reilly
Art Director:
Mark Taylor
Copywriter:
Bob Cianfrone
Interactive Creative Director:
Jeff Benjamin
Agency Producer:
Terry Stavoe
Agency:
Crispin Porter & Bogusky-Los Angeles
Brand:
Burger King
Executive Agency Producer:
Dave Rolfe
Executive Agency Producer:
Rupert Samuel

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