Created for Miami Advertising Agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky by The Barbarian Group, the Subservient Chicken is a viral marketing promotion of Burger King’s line of chicken sandwiches.
The campaign is based on a web site that features a person in a chicken costume. The actor performs a wide range of actions based on a user’s input, showing pre-recorded footage and appearing like an interactive webcam. The takes literally the advertising slogan “Get chicken just the way you like it”.
There are more than a hundred commands the chicken will respond to, including:
Michael Jackson dance moves such as moonwalk
Lay an egg
Walk like an Egyptian
When told to do anything the Subservient Chicken thinks is offensive, like perform sex acts or take off his mask, the chicken walks up to the camera and shakes a scolding chicken finger in disappointment. If he is told to east food from rival fast food places like McDonald’s he approaches the camera and places his finger down his throat but when told to eat Burger King he has a more positive response. The chicken responds to the command “smoke crack” by smoking but when told to “smoke a bong” he waggles his finger scoldingly.
Burger King’s Chicken Fights campaign was recently introduced. The two cockfighting chicken characters are modeled off this chicken.
There seems to be no end to the variations on the theme from Burger King. There has also been a lot of criticism leveled at the chain about the Subservient Chicken but for now it looks like Burger Kind is crying all the way to the bank.
A successful viral campaign isn’t always in good taste maybe that’s what makes them so tasty.