BMP picks up Chicken Tonight creative work

BMP DDB has won the Chicken Tonight UK creative business from J.

Walter Thompson in a move which will see the ex-footballer Ian Wright

dropped from the brand's advertising.

The reshuffle, by the parent company, Unilever Bestfoods, is part of

Unilever's realignment of its £200 million global agency roster,

which was first announced in February.

BMP is currently developing strategic ideas for the brand, but it is

unlikely that any new work will break until the beginning of next


Unilever has backed the brand with a £2 million spend over the

past year.

The DDB network will handle Chicken Tonight and other Knorr savoury

business in the US, most of Western Europe, and other regions including

North Africa and Russia. JWT will handle the accounts in Asia-Pacific,

Germanic Europe and the Latin American regions.

JWT had held the Chicken Tonight account since the range of sauces was

launched in 1993. It has produced memorable advertising for the brand,

with its 1995 campaign introducing people flapping their arms in the

manner of a chicken. The campaign introduced the "I feel like Chicken

Tonight" jingle.

Wright was first cast in the 1998 Chicken Tonight series of ads. In one

execution, the football star dressed up in a smoking jacket and uttered

"One feels like Chicken Tonight" in a pronounced upper-class accent.

However, the brand attracted controversy in March this year when the

Independent Television Commission banned an ad featuring a woman

meditating in front of a jar of Chicken Tonight. The watchdog, which

received 16 complaints about the commercial, ruled that her Hindi-style

chanting was offensive to the largely vegetarian Hindu population.

The sauce brand then teamed up with Sky Digital and Open in February

last year to launch the UK's first national interactive television

commercial for its Stir It Up brand. Viewers were able to press a button

on their remote control and go online to apply for a voucher that was

redeemable in shops.