Burger King Bets 'Subservient Chicken' Ad Campaign Will Go Viral Again
Chicken is at the top of the menu in Burger King's throwback ad campaign.
Subservient Chicken, the mascot of Burger King's 2004 viral ad campaign, is back. This time, the eager-to-please chicken is promoting the triple-decker Chicken Big King.
In 2004, Burger King created subsurvientchicken.com – a website where a giant chicken would perform any task that users typed into the command bar. Burger King had pre-recorded a costumed actor completing hundreds of acts, allowing him to "obey" commands including "sing," "moonwalk" and "Tai Chi."
The site quickly went viral, reportedly receiving over 1 billion online views. While online marketing is now the backbone of social media-focused fast food chains, in 2004, Subservient Chicken was one of the first major online-driven campaigns.
Currently, the freshly relaunched Subservient Chicken website shows only the familiar room from the original website with no chicken in sight. An old-school "pop-up" called "Missing Chicken Error #6129" claims that "There's a chicken on the loose and we are desperately trying to find him."
Burger King will post a short video on the Subservient Chicken's life over the past decade this Wednesday, featuring a cameo by Dustin Diamond – Screech from Saved by the Bell. While it's unclear how the chain will update the website's quirky take on "Have It Your Way," the chicken will reportedly stick around going forward.
The reemergence of the Subservient Chicken couldn't come at a more convenient moment for Burger King. Chicken offerings are suddenly some of the most-hyped items on fast food menus. The weirdness of the Subservient Chicken fits right into the current, quirky fast-food market, as items like the Double Down and the Waffle Taco compete for customers' attention. And, with social media dominating marketing campaigns, websites such as Subservient Chicken are more relevant than ever.
Kate Taylor is a reporter at Business Insider. She was previously a reporter at Entrepreneur. Get in touch with tips and feedback on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor.