Burger King's 'Subservient Chicken' Marketing Campaign

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG233
Case Length : 23 Pages
Period : 2003-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Burger King Corporation
Industry : Fast Food
Countries : US

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"There's nothing like experiencing the success of something like this [Subservient Chicken Campaign] to give you a true appreciation of viral marketing." 1

- Russ Klein, chief marketing officer, Burger King Corporation.

"[Subservient Chicken was a] buzzworthy campaign that got lots of attention, interest, and clickthroughs but didn't raise chicken sales." 2

- Lisa Bradner, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc3, in 2009.

Happy Fifth Birthday, Subservient Chicken!

On April 7, 2009, US-based fast food giant Burger King Corporation's (Burger King) 'Subservient Chicken' campaign turned five. Subservient Chicken was a viral marketing campaign launched on April 7, 2004, by Burger King to promote its TenderCrisp chicken sandwiches. The campaign featured a viral website 'www.subservientchicken.com' where a man dressed in a chicken suit waited in his living room, hoping for an order. Once a user typed in a command in the command bar, the chicken did everything from barking like a dog, mopping the floor, doing Michael Jackson's moon walk, to shaking his feathers, etc. When given a morally questionable command, the chicken came near the screen and wagged his finger in admonishment.

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Burger King's 'Subservient Chicken' Marketing Campaign - Next Page>>

1] "Viral Marketing - Case Study - Subservient Chicken," wiki.media-culture.org.au.
2] Jessica Tsai, "Innovation Nation: 5 Marketing Campaigns for a New Generation," www.destinationcrm.com, March 1, 2009.
3] Forrester Research Inc. provides analysis and advice in the field of technology and management. It was founded in 1983 in Cambridge, US, by George F Colony.

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