Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Subservient Chicken is now 5 years old

Subservient Chicken, a viral site for Burger King in the US, is now 5 years old. This is still one of the most famous online marketing activities, and was instrumental in getting people to think beyond banners and buttons. It was a site that made you enjoy spending time with the brand; it was the essence of the idea of using digital media to create time with the audience. It was produced by The Barbarian Group and Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, and still sets the mark against which other online ideas are judged.

(In writing this I had a look to see if it was still live, and it is. Hats off to BK for keeping this live 5 years after it first launched. They do the same thing with Simpsonize Me)

This post gives you all the details from the idea to the reality, the viral spread, its cultural impact, and beyond.

Also, crucially, it looks at the effectiveness, with these two quotes:

"About a month after the sandwich debuted, BK reported that sales had steadily increased an average of 9% a week. Since then the company has seen “double-digit” growth of awareness of the TenderCrisp sandwich and “significantly increased” chicken sandwich sales. And the TenderCrisp does sell better than the original sandwich. – Adweek"

"You’re standing in the middle of the street, and there’s a Burger King on one corner, and a McDonald’s on the other. You gotta eat something and those are pretty much the only choices. What do you do? You go to the one who brightened your day a little bit, who did something funny. Who spoke to you. – Benjamin Palmer, CEO, Barbarian Group"

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