'Subservient Chicken' Ad Campaign Brought Back by Burger King

Monday, 28 Apr 2014 10:22 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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Consumers may or may not remember Burger King's "subservient chicken" Internet ad campaign from the dial-up days of 2004, but the burger chain is hoping for another round of success with the odd chicken when they bring it back this spring.

Considered groundbreaking at the time, the ad campaign once asked users to visit SubservientChicken.com, which purported to have a live webcam on a man dressed in a chicken suit. Users could type in a command to the chicken, and see it do whatever they asked in real-time.

The campaign was a take on Burger King's "Have It Your Way" slogan and promoted its new chicken sandwich. According to The Associated Press, however, the campaign had in actuality cleverly pre-recorded the chicken doing hundreds of tasks, and played a clip for each request, enabling it to service thousands of visitors and rack up 100 million hits in two weeks.

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Ten years later, Burger King has announced on Twitter that the chicken will return to promote the new triple-decker Chicken Big King sandwich.

SubservientChicken.com has been revived, mimicking a ten-year-old windows and webcam interface like the original, but now an error message appears in the foreground that reads, "Help. There's a chicken on the loose and we are desperately trying to find him."

Ad Age reported that Burger King has also taken out ads in The New York Times, Houston Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and others, that ask "Have you seen this chicken?"

The ads and revived website are precursors to a video Burger King will release Wednesday at 9 a.m. EDT that will show "the rise and fall" of subservient chicken.

Analysts say the campaign aims to boost sales among a younger demographic.

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