Subservient Chicken first hit the internet in April 2004. Conceived by advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the promotion for Burger King’s TenderCrisp chicken sandwich depicts a guy in a chicken suit in an Ikea furnished apartment that does whatever you want him to do. It was an instant success, garnering over 20 million views in its first week online, and forever earning a place in the internet’s pantheon of viral phenomena.
Six years later, Tipp-Ex (Europe’s version of White-Out) and French advertising agency, Buzzman debuted a Subservient Chicken for the YouTube generation.
Dubbed A hunter shoots a bear, the video depicts a frantic woodsman with a rifle in hand, contemplating what exactly to do next. Tipp-Ex then demonstrates the power of its correctional fluid by whiting out the “Shoots” in the video’s title and letting you, the viewer, decide what to write in its place. Be warned before you watch, it’s a time suck. The possibilities are many and watching a guy in a bear costume get rambunctious with a guy in a raccoon wilderness cap does not easily get old. (Feel free to try out my personal favorites, “tickles” and “pwns”.)
The interactive Tipp-Ex page is the latest example of advertisers utilizing a YouTube takeover to market their products. In recent months, The Expendables, Samsung, and Cadbury have all remixed their respect YouTube pages to great effect. It’s an appealing alternative to traditional online advertising, and the end products get play among both consumers and the press. More brands should take note.