TIME marketing

Burger King’s Subservient Chicken Is Back

Burger King Subservient Chicken ad
Burger King This Burger King advertisement appeared in the New York Times Apr. 27, 2014

This time, the chicken's room is empty

Burger King’s subservient chicken is back, but he’s on the loose. The fast-food chain is reviving its clever digital ad campaign, now 10 years old. In its original incarnation, the subservient chicken was a man-sized beast trapped in a nondescript living room that users could control online by typing hundreds of commands. If you told the chicken to moonwalk or pee on the couch, he would dutifully obey. The campaign was crafted to promote Burger King’s new TenderCrisp chicken sandwich at the time, and it aligned nicely with the company’s “Have it Your Way” slogan. It was viral marketing in the days before YouTube.

Now, the chicken’s room is empty, and Burger King is “desprately trying to find him,” according to an error message on the campaign’s promotional website. A series of stills from security cameras show the chicken prowling in parking decks and dark city streets. The fast-food chain has also taken out ads in several newspapers that look like missing person notices. Burger King is encouraging people to use the hashtag “#FindTheChicken” to promote the campaign, which is for the company’s new Chicken Big King sandwich.

Later this week Burger King will debut a short online film about the fleeting fame of Internet celebrities, featuring “Saved by the Bell” star Dustin Diamond. And it’s likely that the chicken will eventually be found and resume his subservient antics sometime soon. The original campaign racked up one billion online views, according to Ad Age.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team