Burger King bringing back 'Subservient Chicken' - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Burger King bringing back 'Subservient Chicken'

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (AP) - Burger King is bringing back one of its strangest advertising creations if you don't count its creepy King - the Subservient Chicken.

The campaign, which was considered groundbreaking when it ran in 2004, featured a website where a giant chicken dressed in garters appeared to perform any task visitors commanded. A costumed actor had been pre-recorded performing hundreds of acts so it would seem as though the chicken was obeying people's orders.

It was an unexpected take on chain's "Have It Your Way" slogan, all just to promote a new chicken sandwich. The site got 100 million hits in the two weeks after its launch, according to Burger King.

A decade later, the Miami-based chain is trotting out the Subservient Chicken once again to promote yet another chicken sandwich - a triple-decker called the Chicken Big King that resembles a Big Mac, except with chicken patties.

Burger King says it will post a short video detailing the "rise and fall" of Subservient Chicken on www.subservientchicken.com at 9 a.m. EDT Wednesday.

Like a host of other companies, Burger King Worldwide Inc. is hoping to create a viral marketing hit to connect with younger consumers. The strategies have varied widely and it's not always clear whether they ultimately help boost sales.

KFC, for instance, recently captured widespread attention online when it issued a video of a boy giving his prom date a corsage made with a chicken drumstick. Whether its popularity can help turn around a yearslong sales slump is yet to be seen. In the first quarter of this year, sales at established locations fell 3 percent, after falling 5 percent for last year.

Burger King, like other traditional fast-food chains, is struggling to boost sales as well. As for attention on social media, the chain's most memorable recent moment in the spotlight may have been when its Twitter account was hacked. The hacker changed its profile picture to the McDonald's logo and tweeted messages containing obscenities, references to drug use and racial epithets.

Burger King had to ask Twitter to temporarily suspend the account.

As for the Subservient Chicken website, it is already live and shows what appears to be a shot of the empty room where the character originally performed its tasks 10 years ago, including dancing, moonwalking and doing pushups. A pop-up alert for a "Missing Chicken Error" prompts people to click a "Help Us" button, which then asks people to share the link on social media.

Eric Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America, declined to provide details about the video that will be posted Wednesday, but said the idea is that the chicken is "turning the tables" on people. It will include an appearance by Dustin Diamond, the actor best known for playing Screech on the teen sitcom "Saved By the Bell."

"I don't want to spoil it, but he's an incredible addition to the film," Hirschhorn said.

Burger King has since cut ties with the creators of the Subservient Chicken campaign, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and The Barbarian Group and says they were not involved in making the new video, which was directed by Bryan Buckley, who has created many Super Bowl ads.

To tease the video, Burger King planned to run ads in several major newspapers Sunday, including the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

The campaign will not include TV ads.

As for whether Burger King planned to bring back the King character, another one of its famous advertising creations, Hirschhorn declined to say.

"I can't confirm or deny at this point," he said.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Students pack bottled water in school supplies this year

    Students pack bottled water in school supplies this year

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:55 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:55:24 GMT
    Nathan Rizer came to Owens Community College all the way from Columbus to study machinery. The new student heard about the Toledo water crisis earlier this month and came ready to go."The locals said I should pretty much drink bottled water but I can pretty much shower and brush my teeth," says Rizer. "I decided to still stick with bottled water, just in case."OCC leaders brought in bottled water and covered drinking fountains during the water emergency earlier this month. If it were to happe...
    Nathan Rizer came to Owens Community College all the way from Columbus to study machinery. The new student heard about the Toledo water crisis earlier this month and came ready to go."The locals said I should pretty much drink bottled water but I can pretty much shower and brush my teeth," says Rizer. "I decided to still stick with bottled water, just in case."OCC leaders brought in bottled water and covered drinking fountains during the water emergency earlier this month. If it were to happe...
  • Fighting human trafficking after 11 arrests

    Fighting human trafficking after 11 arrests

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-08-20 02:40:41 GMT
    The Wood County Sheriff is hoping to send a clear message: human trafficking will not be tolerated."We're really working hard to get to the point where they say no, we're not going to meet in Wood county," Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said.Last weekend, law enforcement agencies from around the area set their sights on Bowling Green.Sheriff's deputies set up at the Days Inn Hotel and ended up making 11 arrests."Part of the reason we chose this past weekend is because the tractor pull," the sheriff ...
    The Wood County Sheriff is hoping to send a clear message: human trafficking will not be tolerated."We're really working hard to get to the point where they say no, we're not going to meet in Wood county," Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn said.Last weekend, law enforcement agencies from around the area set their sights on Bowling Green.Sheriff's deputies set up at the Days Inn Hotel and ended up making 11 arrests."Part of the reason we chose this past weekend is because the tractor pull," the sheriff ...
  • Local coupon expert bags big back to school savings

    Local coupon expert bags big back to school savings

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:54 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:54:29 GMT
    If you're a parent you know how much it can cost to get the kids back in class. According to the National Retail Federation spending will be up about 5% this year on clothes, shoes, electronics and supplies. When it comes to supplies we wanted to find some of the best deals in town 13abc's Lissa Guyton hit the stores with a local savings expert. Joni Meyer-Crothers is a nationally recognized coupon clipper. We were amazed at what she was able to buy for less than a dollar and she is sharing a...
    If you're a parent you know how much it can cost to get the kids back in class. According to the National Retail Federation spending will be up about 5% this year on clothes, shoes, electronics and supplies. When it comes to supplies we wanted to find some of the best deals in town 13abc's Lissa Guyton hit the stores with a local savings expert. Joni Meyer-Crothers is a nationally recognized coupon clipper. We were amazed at what she was able to buy for less than a dollar and she is sharing a...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!