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April 16, 2004


Peter Caputa

Funny. I think a few of us were sharing the same brain the other day.

an excerpt of what I wrote about this the other day:
Firstly, it isn't easy to create a viral marketing campaign that says what a marketer wants to say about their company or product, and actually becomes viral. In the case of Sky High, as Jennifer points out, the connection between the parody and the sponsor isn't that obvious. The subservient chicken is another example of a campaign, like Sky High Airlines, where it isn't obvious it is connected to the brand. (This may be intentional as the BK brand is very subdued on the page.) Further with the chicken, it isn't obvious how the chicken actually enforces the brand's message. Maybe they were just trying to transfer the attraction of a person dressed up in front of an actual fast food place to an online medium. Who knows. Regardless, all it delivered was some impressions and some good laughs when people tried to make it do obscene things.

after reading your thoughts, Jenifer, I think you may be right. although the connection between the chicken and the brand message isn't obvious, it may actually not even exist by design. the chicken is just fun. it is just funny. next time i pass by BK, i may think about the chicken, laugh and pull in the drive-through, instead of going to the McDonald's across the street.

Jennifer Rice

One question that's important to keep in mind... who is BK's target audience for this execution, and does it resonate with them? So often we pass judgment on advertising when in fact we're not part of the target market. That target can be defined by demographics (18 to 34) or psychographics, or both. My wager is that sales among the target audience will go up as a result of the chicken.

Dan Austin

I find the BK chicken to be really disturbing. I don't see how it builds the BK brand in any way. The chicken has a creepy S and M vibe to me that doesn't say "Yum. Fast food" at all.
It may have been impressively viral, but I don't expect BK's sales to rise one iota from it. And, although marketers don't like to think it, sales are what matter.

Tom Asacker

Jennifer, I agree that the chicken is entertaining, but I'm not sure that this "attention" will necessarily lead to increased sales. I personnally don't like my sandwich anthropomorphized. :)

Dave Young

Jennifer, the decrease in pushy propagands will be due to the fact that it doesn't work nearly as well as it used to. Our hype meters are more sensitive than ever to B.S. I like the chicken because BK gave me a few minutes of entertainment without requiring anything of me (including watching an ad) up front. Now, I feel that I at least owe them a little bit of my attention, and a little bit of attention from millions of people is a powerful thing indeed.

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