Have you been to www.subserviantchicken.com ?

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Burger King, the world's No. 2 hamburger chain, is moving forward with plans to capitalize on the success of its offbeat "Subservient Chicken" Web site while making sure to keep its hero below the mainstream radar.

The chain, which is working to revitalize sales and promote its new TenderCrisp chicken sandwiches, launched the Web site April 7, creating a wave of Internet buzz and media attention overnight. A search for the phrase "subservient chicken" on Internet search engine Google, for instance, produces more than 40,000 results.

On the quirky site, an actor in a chicken costume takes commands from visitors to the site, reinforcing Burger King's "Have it Your Way" message without referencing the restaurant chain directly.

Between April 11-18, the number of people who visited the site at least once from their home computers surged more than two-and-a-half times to 407,000, according to tracking firm Nielsen/NetRatings.

Since then, traffic has trailed off, with just 186,000 people visiting the site from home in the week ended May 2.

Miami-based Burger King has remained mum about the chicken's future but said consumers should not expect to see his image at one of its restaurants.

"That would be far too mainstream," Burger King spokesman Blake Lewis said. "The chicken doesn't do mainstream."

However, Lewis did not rule out the possibility of the chicken popping up in one of Burger King's television ads.

Branding experts think Burger King is doing the right thing by keeping the chicken out of the limelight, and said the mystique will allow it to retain its appeal among 20- to 30-year-olds who may not respond to more overt marketing.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/11/news...ex.htm?cnn=yes