Seemingly, Crispin Porter + Bogusky Can Do No Wrong


Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which hasn't done anything truly groundbreaking since Subservient Chicken (actually created by Barbarian Group), continues to be the poster child for awesomeness in the eyes of brands looking for some sort of extra kick. Microsoft has handed its $41 million Zune account, previously handled by 72andSunny (among others), to the shop without review.

We've made it well known we aren't lovin' Crispin's current work for Vista. Please, Crispin, help us change our opinion with what we hope will be kick ass work for Zune. OK? Please? Can you do that for us?

[Ed. Seriously. Is it even worth any company to attempt to out do the iPod? Why even bother?]

by Steve Hall    Nov-14-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Brands   

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It's completely dickish to imply that Crispin didn't conceive Sub Chicken. In Barbarian's own words: "of course we didn't dream it up... we were just fortunate enough to have been involved."

Furthermore, Crispin has broke plenty of ground since then: Virgin Atlantic, Molson, Truth, VW (Safe Happens at the very least). I'm sure there's more. The Coke Zero and BK freakout ideas were pretty brilliant too.

And if your tired point is that Crispin is overrated, you're just stoking the fire. Those guys decided a long time ago that advertising isn't about art, it's about fame. And they've championed that idea better than anyone.

Posted by: maurer on November 15, 2008 5:08 AM

hey previous poster: the coke zero and bk freakout were the same ideas esecuted the same way. and folgers coffee did hidden camera spots in the 80's. cpb is now becoming "famous" for having once done good work.

Posted by: hitchens on November 15, 2008 8:56 AM

OK, semantic difference on the word "created." yea, CPB came up with the concept. Barbarian made the whole thing work. Only reason I mentioned it was becasue, for a long time, no one wanted to acknowledge Barbarian's involvement.

And what else is Barbarian (or any company) going to say? Do you think they are going to bite the hand that feeds them? No.

And by saying "hasn't done anything truly groundbreaking does not, by any means, imply they haven't done any good work. Of course they have. And if you want to measure success by how many brands willingly hand their business to an agency then, hands down, CPB is at the top of the pile.

Advertising never was (or never should be) art. Any smart agency knows this. Agencies creates work that sells shit, not work that hangs on the wall in an art museum.

CPB deciding long ago "that advertising isn't about art" is (or should) simply be the status quo line of thinking of any good agency. It was never about making art. However, if along the way, and agency happens to craft something to beautiful and so wonderful it could be considered art, than great. But it's purpose is still to sell shit.

Aside from all of this, you're right. I am a dick. If I wasn't, why would anyone read Adrants?

By the way, how's the Boulder office doing? ;)

Posted by: Steve Hall on November 15, 2008 11:51 AM

I love it when folks leave anonymous comments and then act holier than thou. As for CPB, yes they have done some nice stuff, but they are overrated.
As for the Zune, no Ad agency can make a turd smell like roses. :-)

Posted by: Herbert on November 15, 2008 3:12 PM

I'll just step over this chicken conversation, but I do think it's fair to say the BK XBox game was pretty awesome. That, I think, qualified for groundbreaking status.

Posted by: Rick on November 15, 2008 3:19 PM

The Subserviant Chicken was a lift from a site two years previous to the Chicken.
A barmaid type of girl was leaning against the bar and when you typed in commands she did them. Some of the best were when you typed in "Star Wars" and she pulls out a light saber and takes on Darth Vader. Sure all the obvious ones for a big breasted hottie were obvious, like jumping jacks and jump up and down, but finding the gems like "Gorilla" and "Karate" made it awesome.
Nice pull Crispin.
And the Seinfeld shit was awful on every level

Posted by: Subservant Fraud on November 15, 2008 11:00 PM

@Subservient Fraud - No offense, but a quick google search reveals the launch dates of both of these items: The chicken launched in april of 2004 ( and virtual bartender seems to be later that year: (

Posted by: Google is your friend on November 16, 2008 12:54 PM

I am glad some one dated the two above, and cleared that up. As for working on Zune related work... I produced and handled design direction for ( while at a digital production shop working on behalf of McCann SF. We all pretty much knew there was no sense in trying to compete with the iPod but rather, just try to define a space for the Zune in the marketplace.

My point being is that Sony DEFINED the Walkman/Discman, yet to this day there is plenty of room for knock-offs, coat-tail riders, and competitors on the shelves.

Posted by: tim nolan on November 16, 2008 1:47 PM

today's challenge: compare the dominos poll feature on their website when you order a pizza online and the BK poll-arizer facebook app.

i bet you will find the same execution sold to two quick service/fast food clients from the same agency... brilliant from a "no need to reinvent the wheel" standpoint... surprising that an agency can get away with it within the same category.


Posted by: long time reader, first time caller on November 17, 2008 2:41 AM

And the less said about MINI the better...


Posted by: Floyd Hayes on November 17, 2008 2:36 PM

I bought a Zune since it was a little cheaper. I love their marketing and software which includes dj lists and social networking. The Zune Originals site is dope. The downside was the everlasting scrolling and the upside was that it had a radio and e-mail. The packaging was also very stylish. It got stolen, and my phone broke, so I got an iphone to replace it. Which, of course, I am delighted with.

Posted by: asile on November 18, 2008 12:17 PM