Restaurant chains attempted viral video success in the past quarter with a chicken comeback, dramatic series mashups and a fake Fellini film, and all three showed sizable increases in engagement with their audiences.

According to data tracked by Sprinklr, the provider of social media analytics for Nation’s Restaurant News’ Social 200 index, Burger King scored the highest engagement for a single piece of content with its video starring Subservient Chicken. But Wendy’s and Quiznos both strung together several humorous videos that comprised integrated social media campaigns. All three brands upped the production value for the campaigns, producing slick, broadcast-quality videos meant to end up on YouTube.

While sales of the items promoted in the videos or the bottom-line impact of the campaigns’ branding work cannot be calculated until the chains report second-quarter sales, Sprinklr did compile highlights of social engagement the brands drove during the period:

Burger King

“Subservient Chicken Redemption”

During the measurement period, Wendy’s and Quiznos might have had the “long tail” of multiple videos adding up to engaging campaigns, but Burger King was at the head of the competition with the single-most-viewed video for “Subservient Chicken Redemption: The Other Side of the Road.”



Miami-based Burger King dusted off its Subservient Chicken character last seen in Web videos in 2004 and filmed a 4-minute mockumentary of how the chicken, who obediently does whatever anybody tells him to do, fell on hard times during his decade in exile. In one scene, he loses a cockfight to a chicken-suit-wearing Dustin Diamond — better known as Screech from “Saved by the Bell” — which no doubt contributed to the video’s viral reach.

But the second half of the video is a training montage in which Subservient Chicken gets back into fighting shape, ready to be worthy of the name Chicken Big King, which, incidentally, is the name of the sandwich Burger King advertised at the end of the video. The video was also one of the first pieces of Burger King marketing collateral to feature the brand’s new tagline, “Be Your Way.”

According to Sprinklr, Burger King’s 6.4 million YouTube views for its video far outpaced the closest runners-up from Wendy’s and Quiznos. Burger King also garnered more than twice as many social fan actions on YouTube as any competitor, with 480 comments, 5,802 up-votes and 2,769 down-votes for a total of 8,625 actions.

The next highest total of fan actions came for Wendy’s highest-performing video, which had 2,912 fan actions.

Since the late April introduction of the Subservient Chicken video, Burger King went back to posting its 15- and 30-second commercials for its King Deals value offer, but none of those videos achieved more than 6,121 views.

Sprinklr found that, over the past 30 days, Burger King’s active audience — meaning people who follow one of its social-media profiles and have recently liked, shared or commented on a piece of Burger King content — grew to 386,000, or about 2 percent of its 19.6 million fans and followers across the major social networks. That active audience generated 40.9 million earned impressions over the past 30 days, which Sprinklr said accounted for a 42.7-percent amplification of Burger King’s social-media engagement over the brand’s activity alone.