April 08, 2004

Get chicken the way you say you want it

This flash animation at "subservientchicken.com" shows a guy in a chicken suit who (often) follows commands typed in English. Things that work: "lie down", "touch your toes", "touch your nose", "do some push-ups"; things that don't work: "if seven is prime, point to the right", "touch your left foot with your right hand", "turn the chair around". For the last one, the chicken turns himself around. As Des might say, "There's still work for NLP researchers, isn't it?" [via Nick Montfort via Dan Bickel]

I previously expressed skepticism that this was actually a Burger King ad, but several correspondents have completely refuted me.

For example Michael Leuchtenburg emailed:

When the subservientchicken flash is loading, it shows a Burger King logo. It also says "© 2004 Burger King Brands, Inc. All rights reserved." at the bottom of the page, and has a link to http://www.bk.com/ (Burger King's website).

Looking at the whois entries, it appears that subservientchicken.com is registered by an advertising firm:

    Administrative Contact:
       kilpatrick, jordan  (3292168I)            jkilpatrick@cpbgroup.com
       crispin porter & bogusky
       3390 mary street
       office 300
       MIAMI, FL 33133
       305 859 2070 fax: 305-854-3419

Searching that phone number up on google finds the following entry: Crispin Porter & Bogusky Advertising, (305) 859-2070, 2699 S Bayshore Dr, Miami, FL 33133

Looking at their webpage, they do seem to be doing work for Burger King, giving their "Have it Your Way" campaign "an extreme makeover". http://www.cpbmiami.com/FrameContentSpecClient.cfm?ClientID=55

If this isn't actually associated with Burger King, it's a very well planned fraud. I think it's legitimately associated with BK.;

Posted by Mark Liberman at April 8, 2004 04:09 PM