TCS clucks up, makes crazy chickens for Denny's!

TCS strives always to create artistic statements with relevance, gravitas, and grace, drawing from the deep well of both the current and classic philosphical and metaphorical Zeitgeist...oh who the hell are we kidding? Let's have fun making some stupid chickens!

Goodby Silverstein Agency Producer Chris Allen called TCS President and Chief Guy-who-figures-out-how-to-make-crazy-stuff Rick Lazzarini, and posed a challenge: Make some goofy chicken puppets for the 2010 SuperBowl, for Client Denny's Restaurants. 10 of them, custom-constructed, in 3 weeks. Renowned Director Kinka Usher and his cool-headed Producer Nancy Hacohen were brought into the mix, and the game began! Originally, it was going to be a group of outrageously caricatured chicken puppets, so designs flew fast and furious. Prototypes were constructed. But, 10 days into the build, things came to a screeching halt.

Rich Goodby himself had a good look at the concept and the progress, made a decision, and made calls to the Client and Kinka. "The spot would be funnier if we did it with *realistic* chickens!" was Goodby's line. "Can we do that, Rick?", Kinka asked; "Do you have existing real chicken puppets?". Lazzarini's response: "Nope, but we can make'em". "In the same amount of time? For no more money?", Kinka queried. "Maybe not 10 of 'em, but otherwise, we got you covered" replied Lazzarini, who then had to scramble together an entirely different crew and hit the ground running in the complete opposite direction.

Smash-cut to 2 weeks later, and Lazzarini and the TCS crew showed up on set with 6 fabulous, realistic looking chickens, complete with head, neck, beak, wing , and eye movement...and the ability to bulge their eyes in surprise, too. Shooting on cool scaled-down miniature sets built by John Merritt, Kinka, Rick, and the puppeteers shot Denny's "Chicken Warning" spot. Rick's especially proud of one action he came up with on the spot: have one of the chickens knock a ball in on the miniature pool table.

A week later, the Client loved the spot so much, they commissioned another 2 spots: "Birthday", and "Chickens across America".

Come SuperBowl, the Denny's ads were some of the highest ratet, noticed and enjoyed. They were so popular, Denny's commisssioned guerilla agency FILTER to create Web ads based on the cluckers, and a series of Webisodes, capitalizing on their popularity even further.

Whether it's a giant, 20 foot tall marionette, a roomful of clucking animatronic hens gone wild, or just about anything you can think of, The Character Shop has what it takes to create characters and creatures that get your project noticed and talked about. Try us out for your next production!

See the progress pages we presented to the Client and Director:

Goofy Chicken Concepts and Illustrations

Realistic Chicken Progress


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