It’s hard to defend a marketing campaign titled something as puerile as Coq Roq, especially one brainstormed by a top-notch agency like CP+B for something called "chicken fries" from the The King of fast food. The very fact that I can type out the above headline should be proof enough that the ethos behind the campaign was nothing short of base. Coq Roq. Obnoxious, innit?
So let’s not mince words here: Coq means cock, folks. Sure, we can all spin yarns how cock is really a synonym for rooster, which would give a tangential association to something called "chicken fries." But that’s not the intended meaning.
We’re talking Cock Rock, the derogatory term often tossed at testosterone-fueled, overly pretentious, sometimes misogynistic, and mostly talentless music that platforms the campaign.
Strike that. The focus of the campaign isn’t Cock Rock the music, but rather, Coq Roq the band — a semi-fictitious nu-metal band that apes the likes of Slipknot, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and Kiss with chicken masks and feathered costumes. The band’s single is titled ‘Bob Your Head.’
And still, I wrote positively about the campaign. A few days prior to praising it — a campaign hinging on the word cock — I disparaged another one that hinged on a close-up of a woman’s breasts. I critiqued that campaign as moronic and base. And here I was, lauding a band called Coq Roq and a single called ‘Bob Your Head.’ (And if you saw the ad on TV — the one with all the groupies and shirtless rock stars — you would fast understand the double entendre.)
It wasn’t until reading Catherine Stone’s post on her excellent blog Decent Marketing about the campaign that I took a second gander at the site, and a double-take at my reasoning. The way she puts it, this campaign is nothing but stupid hoopla. No thought. No benefit. No true experience. And she’s totally right.
We all have the right to decry a misguided, miscalculated and misogynistic campaign such as this (um, "Groupies love The Coq" is way too over-board). But o’ ye of little faith. Try to find something redeemable. The site is extremely well-done. The interface is fresh. A very cool feature is an 800-number — 1-888-ROQRANT — that allows wannabe-rockstars to dial in and broadcast any song (either their own or a released one) and the Coq at the end of the line will not only name it, but criticize it as well. This is the type of technological envelope-pushing that tipped the Subservient Chicken and put CP+B on the map.
So don’t be too hard on the Coq. The heart is in the right place (the pants). But let’s see if BK and CP+B have the balls to go with their Coq: Put the band on the road. Surely whoever recorded ‘Bob Your Head’ could put on the chicken masks and hit the Lower East Side venues.
Make the advertisement come to life. Try to get the band on TLR. Make a video instead of a TV advert. See if metal fans dig the gig. Let consumers engage with the brand through their experiences with the band. Do you think BK got the eggs to do that?
Put the band on the road, I say. At the very least, we’ll be able to figure out why it crossed it.