Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 09, 2021

Crispin Porter’s “Subservient Chicken” campaign for Burger King made a lot of noise as being an example of viral marketing in action.

But aside from providing a lot of fodder for blogs, did it really deliver as an ad campaign? Adweek presents its case study of the initial and latter-stage rollout, and comes to some conclusions:

About a month after the TenderCrisp sandwich debuted, BK reported that sales had steadily increased an average of 9 percent a week. Since then, [Burger King VP of marketing impact Brian] Gies says the company has seen “double-digit” growth of awareness of the TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich and “significantly increased” chicken sandwich sales. And the TenderCrisp does sell better than the Original Chicken Sandwich.

[Crispin Porter creative director Andrew] Keller says he knows only anecdotal results, but to him, they lean toward the positive. “Foot traffic is my biggest concern,” he says. “I want people going to BK, talking about BK. I got a call from a friend of my wife. She said, ‘I was in Burger King and I don’t know why.’ That to me is an effect of advertising.”

However, at least one franchise owner remains skeptical of the narrowly targeted approach. “It’s difficult to show a causal relationship between sales and the advertising,” he says. While overall “system sales are doing well,” and the chicken sandwiches are selling “reasonably well,” he expresses concern about the limited appeal of such creative. “In the long term, this thing has to evolve,” he says. “I’m more of a traditionalist. I like to see the food.”

It’s safe to say that BK is going to stick with CP+B for a while. Contrast these results with the advertising ineptness of Quiznos: BK allows its agency to do their thing, yielding success; Quiznos tries to usurp the process, leading to dismal and repeated failure.

By the way, the secret of how the Subservient Chicken interactive website works is revealed; it’s not live:

The Web site, conceived and built by CP+B creatives, including interactive creative director Jeff Benjamin, and The Barbarian Group in Boston, went live April 8. For the Web site, creatives thought up about 400 commands and filmed an actor in a chicken suit acting them out, and then programmed them into the Web site to allow anything viewers typed in to get a response.

Yes, I’ve got Burger King on the brain lately. Hey, better that than putting their crap down my gullet.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/09/2021 11:15:18 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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3 Feedbacks
  1. It’s that commercial and jingle featuring Damius Rucker (hope I got the name right) that got you that way.

    Comment by Robert — 03/10/2021 @ 06:38:29 PM

  2. It’s Darius, babe. Darius.

    But I’m sure he’ll take “Damius” over “Hootie” any day.

    Comment by CT — 03/10/2021 @ 10:25:04 PM


    In the quirky tradition of Subservient Chicken and Hootie and the Burger King, ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky has launched a new campaign for BK. This time, they’ve moved on from the poultry items to the mainstay meat sandwich: The Whopper, …

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 12/25/2007 @ 10:32:23 AM

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