Porn Chicken 'The Way You Like It'

Gretchen Gallen
MIAMI – Sex and chicken may not be an immediate association the average consumer would make right off the bat, but a Burger King ad campaign that used a porn chicken and faux webcam website to launch one of the more successful fast-food marketing strategies in recent years is scheduled to launch the second half of its campaign on television this weekend, and there is no shortage of sexual and even porn-related undertones.

The first leg of the campaign took place online and focused on a fake webcam site in which the viewer types in commands and the subject, in this case the chicken, does exactly what is asked, well almost, including sumersaults, smoking a cigarette, break dancing, and simulating the act of urinating on the couch.

The chicken also responds to about 400 other pre-taped acts that the campaign's creator, Miami-based ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky, put together based on requests from its in-house staff members.

The website creates the feeling of being in real-time, especially when requests are inappropriate and the chicken approaches the viewer box with a disapproving glare.

According to the campaign creator, the setting for the chicken webcam was intentionally shot in a grainy style reminiscent of porn voyeur sites, although a spokesperson for Burger King would neither confirm or deny that that campaign was intentionally targeting a youth group that would more easily identify with an Internet porn tie-in.

A Burger King representative referred to the webcam site as "an interactive peepshow."

According to advertising analysts, the Subservient Chicken campaign has been a "colossal" success, drawing in an estimated 46 million web hits in the first week it was launched. Although some critics are saying that despite the campaign's web popularity and its obvious porn site analogy, there is insufficient proof that the campaign has translated into direct sales of the TenderCrisp fried chicken sandwich that the campaign is structured around.

"One thing I think they have achieved is creating a site that's funny and entertaining," said Ralph F. Wilson, founder and director of Wilson Internet Services. "What doesn't work is there's no real big tie-in to Burger King. This hasn't become a branding mechanism that ties to the brand strongly, which I think is a mistake. If I were doing something like this, I would also be doing coupons to get the to try the product."

Now on its third week, Crispin Porter & Bogusky plans to launch the first of three late night national television spots this weekend that feature a more viewer-friendly version of the porn chicken in action. Although the television spots themselves are still packed with sexual innuendo and feature two scantily clad women who seem to find the Subservient Chicken sexually appealing, especially when he bends over in front of one of them and she licks her lips lasciviously at the site of his distended rear end. The television spot ends with its signature logo: "Chicken, the way you like it."

According to Crispin Porter & Bogusky the total production costs for the webcam site came to about $30,000, a considerably low number compared to other high profile ad campaigns.