I Have Seen the Future, and It Is a Chicken

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The mainstream media, in the form of the Baltimore Sun's Mike Himowitz, have finally discovered that Subservient Chicken website. Now he's filling us in on the background:

I talked to Alex Bogusky, the firm's creative director, who said subservientchicken.com was part of a campaign to call attention to his client's chicken sandwiches. And offering the public a chicken that obeyed commands would illustrate the company's longtime motto, "Have it your way."

Of course.

The Web site went up for testing a week before the launch of a Burger King TV campaign (mainly on outlets like the Spike channel, which caters to 20-somethings who count neither carbs nor calories). The ad agency folks sent messages about it to a handful of friends for their reaction. Obviously, there's a market for absurdity because they spread the word. Within 24 hours, Bogusky said, the site had registered a million hits—and 20 million in a week—before the first TV ads aired….

Bogusky said the average visitor spends seven to eight minutes typing commands to the chicken, which is astounding for a commercial Web site and could make this the best example of viral marketing since The Blair Witch Project.

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