"Unique, unforgettable and clever—simply a brilliant example of effective online marketing." —juror Jonathan Hills
"The command line with a deeply twisted sense of humor. This is a great example of pushing back on what you can get away with not only in a browser, but with your clients." —juror Jeffrey Veen
Overview: To show how customers can really have chicken their way at Burger King, this site presents a video-based bird that does almost anything a visitor asks. Low-fi and minimally branded, the site turned out to be an enormous viral hit.
• 15 million unique visitors
• 450 million hits
• 30MB total file size
• 200KB initial load size
Comments by Jeff Benjamin/Bob Cianfrone/Mark Taylor:
"The story's pretty simple, really.
"We started off knowing two things: Burger King was introducing a new chicken sandwich and their brand platform was 'Have It Your Way.' With these things in mind, we came up with a large, awkward chicken that does exactly what you tell it to—and we called it Subservient Chicken. The idea was to use Subservient Chicken to demonstrate that at BK, you can get chicken just the way you like it.
"The campaign began with TV, but we soon thought about bringing it to life on the Internet. As it turned out, the Web was an ideal spot for Subservient Chicken. It allowed people to interact with it and really make it subservient.
"After a two-day shoot, we spent a day with the chicken in a small apartment in LA. We threw over 300 commands at him—most of them coming from people here at CPB. The Barbarian Group assembled the video clips, and made it seem as if the chicken was really obeying commands of each and every person online. (For weeks, people believed we had hundreds of chickens. Nope. Sorry. Just one.)
"After testing the site, we sent it to a few friends to get their opinions. That's when things got crazy. They started passing the site along to their friends, and before you knew it, we had over a million hits—and the site hadn't even launched. We had 15 million hits in the first 5 days. Hits are now well over 450 million.
"In the end, all we really did was put someone in a chicken costume, videotape him responding to commands, and send it to a few friends.
"Everything else pretty much took care of itself."