Haunted by the ghost of your former brand. Plus: Fun With Chicken(s)!

Two trends require commentary.

I’ll start with the nutty chicken stuff that’s going on right now—Domino’s is selling messy-looking lines of chicken topped with pizza toppings or something. KFC just brought us through prom season with an idea so absurd it kinda made you wonder if Yum! brands was employing Tim and Eric as awesome consultants.

And now Burger King, after spending a couple years yearning to be the squarest of the square, the absolute Jay Leno of fast food (after years of being the Tim and Eric of fast food, or at least the Conan of fast food), is welcoming back subservient chicken.

Subservient Social Media things

So, like, why?

For the same reason that Little Caesar’s used to be funny, wasn’t for awhile, and is again. For the same reason that Sonic had those great dash-cam ads, walked away for awhile, then ran back as fast they could.

That’s the second trend that requires commentary: When marketers have big success, and then get lost in the woods, they follow the sesame-seed-bun-crumb-trail back to where they were when everything was good.

Problem is, it’s so hard to recapture former hilarity, or former love. In every human experience.

Little Caesar’s and Sonic are managing it these days, for the most part.

And yes, it’s nice to see the weird old chicken again. It doesn’t make any sense with Burger King’s current brand voice, but if they go back in time and grab stuff that was brilliant and smart to mix in with their bland, mediocre current stuff, then I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on that ol’ King fella.

He’s just following his own bun crumbs.