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2004: Burger King introduces its ‘Subservient Chicken’ to reverse sales decline

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

McDonald's subservient chicken

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Kenneth Hein, global marketing director at Gyro. Below, find out why he chose Burger King’s ‘Subservient Chicken’ campaign as his favorite marketing moment.

A chicken in garters that follows your commands changed marketing forever. For a little context, digital advertising in 2004 didn’t just take a backseat to TV and print ‑ it wasn’t even in the car.

That’s why Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s “Subservient Chicken” was so unique. It succeeded because it was interactive, spoke directly to BK’s 16-35 male target demo and, most importantly, delivered the brand promise: “Have it Your Way.”

By the end of 2004, the “Subservient Chicken” and BK’s other unusual characters and products not only reversed years of sales declines, it even allowed the chain to surpass McDonald’s.

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

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