Kenji Ross

est. 1980; internets since 1998

Subservient Chicken

2004

client
Burger King
my role
Developer
for
The Barbarian Group

The one, the only. Subservient Chicken, a landmark in viral marketing (we hadn't learned to hate the phrase yet), shot over a weekend in a Los Angeles apartment with bad lighting. 25,000,000 hits in the first 48 hours. No offical promotion whatsoever. One of the most successful sites in the history of internet marketing.

Now to be fair, my role in this project was relatively minor. I worked on the limited backend - basically, the keyword management system that matched up one of the 200+ video clips with phrases entered by the user. It wasn't by any means the most complex thing I've made. But eight years on, I'm still fond of it. More important than any technical accomplishments is what it taught me, early in my career. I learned that a great idea, simply executed and unobtrusively branded, can and will win people over. And that there was (and still is) a massive audience out there who feel alienated by traditional advertising, but wouldn't mind a funny thing in their inbox every so often.