Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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BK Needs to Give it Up

Following the success of Subservient Chicken, Burger King has come out with two more attempts at viral campaigns. One, House of Ugoff, feels like a cheap rip-off of Ali G characters. The other, Angus Diet, I just don’t get. The beauty of Subservient Chicken was in its simplicity. It was a guy in a chicken costume on the screen and you told him what to do, nothing more. Nothing to read, nothing to think about, just funny. For those reasons it connected with exactly the audience Burger King was trying to reach and it was a huge success (46 million hits for a project that cost under $100,000). Now Burger King is going back to the well, and twice within 3 months. Now maybe they’re trying to go after a different demographic, however, I doubt that. (I admit I have spent very little time on the sites because I don’t find them amusing). You would think that a company would have the wherewithal to stay away for a little while and let their past success sink in. The other sites simply diminish Subservient Chicken’s impact, which could see a second round if Subservient President is to take off. In the end I’m just surprised that there’s no one at Burger King telling them to slow down with the viral sites, it’s a cool thing to do once. After that first time, however, you’re exposed and need to step back. Consumers have a good nose for this kind of stuff, and Burger King reeks of bandwagon jumping, it’s sad that it’s their own.

August 3, 2004