The Subservient Chicken
|The Subservient Chicken|
|Agency||Crispin, Porter + Bogusky|
|Release date(s)||2001 – 2012|
The Subservient Chicken is an advertising program created to promote international fast food restaurant chain Burger King's TenderCrisp chicken sandwich and their "Have it Your Way" campaign. Created for the Miami-based advertising firm Crispin Porter + Bogusky (abbreviated to CP+B) by The Barbarian Group, the program featured a viral marketing website, television and print campaigns and a one-time pay-per-view program. The program was similar to other marketing campaigns created by CP+B for Burger King, including the Coq Roq, Ugoff, and Sith Sense.
The TenderCrisp sandwich was first advertised using the Subservient Chicken character in a commercial called the Subservient Chicken Vest. The commercial was the first in a series of ads for the sandwich utilizing a line of viral marketing promotions by Crispin Porter + Bogusky for Burger King. In the ad, a man is sitting in his living room directing a person in a chicken suit to behave in any way he wants. The tag line was "Chicken the way you like it." According to Jeff Benjamin, an Executive Creative Director at CP+B, the campaign evolved from a television idea into an interactive one. After the success of the Subservient Chicken, Burger King used the character in several subsequent advertising campaigns.
Other advertising programs
- Fantasy Ranch
- The TenderCrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch sandwich was promoted in the United States by a 2005  television advertising campaign directed by David LaChapelle and featuring recording artist Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish) singing a country-style jingle to the tune of "Big Rock Candy Mountain." The ad also starred television presenter Brooke Burke, model Vida Guerra, and members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
- With the introduction of the Spicy TenderCrisp Sandwich, CP+B created the Chicken Fight ad program. The ads featured a forthcoming boxing match billed as The two "cockfighting chickens" between two people in chicken suits, one as "TC" and the other as "Spicy", a second chicken with orange "plumage". The actual "fight" was broadcast as one time short on DirecTV.
- Big Buckin' Chicken/Big Huckin' Chicken
- In March 2006, Big Buckin' Chicken commercial for Tendercrisp Cheesy Bacon Chicken Sandwich featured the Subservient Chicken again. The TV ad showed 8 mm-style footage of a cowboy riding the chicken in a rodeo while people on the sideline cheer on. An accompanying jingle states, "Big buckin' chicken/you are big, you are chicken." The voice over concludes that "the only way to beat it, is to eat it." The character was reused in another TenderCrisp ad riding a dirt bike, titled Big Huckin' Chicken.
||This section possibly contains original research. (April 2013)|
In addition to the commercials, there is "The Subservient Chicken" web page. On the page, a man in a chicken costume performs a wide range of actions based on a user's input, showing pre-recorded footage and appearing like an interactive webcam. The site takes literally the advertising slogan "Get chicken just the way you like it". The site launched on April 8, 2004. The site was created for CP+B and BK by The Barbarian Group and is hosted at GSI in Kansas City, Missouri. "The guy in the suit was originally an actor, but he was claustrophobic in the suit, so he wouldn’t do it. And we had to use one of the costume’s designers... He would do about six moves and then we would have to fan him off because he would get so hot in the costume," says CP+B ECD Jeff Benjamin.
There are more than three hundred commands that the Subservient Chicken will respond to, including:
There is also an easter egg in the program: if the user types Crispin, the company name, into the box, three people, supposedly the creators, will pop up from behind a sofa and then pop back down again. If he/she types it three times, they will actually get up and walk past the camera.
If the user types in the name "Jeff Benjamin" an Executive Creative Director at CP+B,the chicken will hold up a "rock on hand". The chicken will also perform this same act when told "I love you" or you type in the name of some rock bands like "Metallica".
When told to perform sex acts, take off his mask, or do anything the Subservient Chicken considers offensive, the chicken walks up to the camera and shakes a scolding chicken finger in disappointment. However, when asked to show his male genitalia, the chicken walks up to the camera and shows his pelvis. When told to eat food from rival fast food chain McDonald's, he approaches the camera and places his finger down his throat, when told to eat Burger King he has a more positive response. If he is told to 'join PETA', he performs the same action as when a 'dizzy' command is typed in. The chicken responds to the command "smoke" by smoking, but when told to "smoke a bong" he waggles his finger scoldingly. If told to "choke" he attempts to strangle himself. When commanded to do anything with the word "me" in it, he approaches the camera and looks at the player, turning his head a few times. When told to take off his costume, the chicken shows that he is stuck inside his costume. When asked to "drink a Coke" he will walk to a bookcase behind the couch and drink a Coke.If the player tells him to "Go Vegan". he approaches the camera and give you a thumbs down.
- TCBCR advert
- Theresa Howard (2004-11-04). "Burger King promotes tongue-in-beak chicken fight". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-03-01. "Tune in to channel 340 on DirecTV Friday night and you'll see an honest-to-goodness chicken fight — a boxing match between two actors in chicken suits representing Burger King's chicken sandwich varieties."
- Janis Mara (2004-04-16). "Burger King Hen Whets Chicken Yen". Clickz.com. Retrieved 2007-10-27.
- Anderson, Mae. "Dissecting 'Subservient Chicken'". Ad Week. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- The Subservient Chicken
- Snopes Urban Legends: Subservient Chicken
- Word on Word of Mouth explaining Subservient Chicken
- Subservient Chicken Verb List
- Download SC
Parodies and similar sites
- I Do Dog Tricks
- Submissive Dimitri - Same concept to promote an Air Guitar shop
- Subservient President Launched at the Democratic National Convention during the 2004 presidential campaign