Sometimes the craziest ideas are often the ones that work. When it comes to advertising, no idea should be excused right off the bat, no matter how unbelievable or ridiculous it is. Australian Chicken Restaurant of Chicken Treat came into advertising with this exact open mindset, and it went far beyond its Aussie roots.
Companies craft social media to a certain audience and are careful to avoid grammatical errors and other erroneous copy as every post runs through an editing process. That’s not the case for Chicken Treat. They gave its Twitter account to a live hen.
The tweets coming from Chicken Treat’s profile are not intentional gibberish, but unintentional gibberish. Accompanied by the hashtag “ChickenTweet”, Betty the Chicken posted hundreds of tweets. Additionally, Chicken Treat used the live-streaming phone application Periscope multiple times to great success.
Those Periscope live videos helped thrust Chicken Treat to the media spotlight. Live chicken tweeting made for a “watch live before it’s gone” feeling. It helped capture an immediate audience seeking viral entertainment before news sites recount the experience. However, Chicken Treat went a step further with its silly marketing effort.
The novelty of an animal tweeting would wear off. It’s fun to watch a chicken step on a keyboard and hit send for a company’s twitter account for a day or two. It’s exciting to see Betty the chicken stumble its way into forming words like “bum” or “few.” Then it’s captivating to anticipate Betty the Chicken breaking new ground and setting a Guinness World Record by typing a five-letter English word. That record is Chicken Treat’s lofty goal with the venture. They retain an audience waiting for the record-breaking surprise or another word to crop up. With social media, we can be there as the event unfolds.
The success mainly remained on Twitter and in the media. CNN, TIME, and countless other news sites fueled the quirky ad campaign. Even Buzzfeed “interviewed” Betty the chicken and asked a few hard questions like “why did you cross the road?” From October 14 to 16 alone, each gibberish-laden tweet ranged from 36 retweets to around 1,500 retweets. Each holiday, sporting event, or film release, a wacky photo of Betty is posted and gains far more engagement.
Chicken Treat’s Twitter account before the company granted access to a chicken was as light as Betty’s feathers. Based on retweets and likes, dozens of tweets by Chicken Treat fell on deaf ears. In fact, one of the more popular tweets garnered single-digit success. A retweet here, a couple of likes there, it proved unsuccessful.
With Betty, the company is not just a chicken restaurant; they have a minor Internet celebrity as a mascot to promote their product. For another zany marketing scheme, check out why Mountain Dew’s Puppy Monkey Baby stole the advertising spotlight during the Super Bowl.