Taiwan's KMT on verge of selecting 'energetic chicken' as party mascot

Unfortunately for the party, the absurd  KMT Chicken is far and away the most popular among Taiwan's netizens in the online competition

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The "energetic chicken"

The "energetic chicken"

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The KMT is currently holding an online competition, allowing the public to select a new party mascot, in an effort to promote the party with younger generations in Taiwan.

According to the current polling being conducted through Facebook via likes and shares, a cartoon chicken mascot is far and away the public’s leading choice for the symbol of the KMT.

The goofy chicken currently has around 12,000 likes, and 2.6 thousand shares, followed by a far more sensible Magpie mascot in second with only a few hundred likes, and about 500 shares.

To capitalize on the potential of viral marketing, publicly driven polls can generate a lot of excitement and interest, which might be considered a positive aspect of the current KMT campaign.

However in the age of “Boaty McBoatface,” the KMT apparently did not get the memo that when the opportunity to be humorous or simply irreverent presents itself to the online community via public decision making, netizens without fail will mobilize to ensure the most entertaining outcome.

Some proponents of the KMT chicken mascot say that it offers a uniquely Taiwanese style. 

According to the official description of the “energetic chicken” design, it is intended to convey “freshness and vitality” and the mascot actually depicts a “person wearing a chicken costume,” hence the second face. It is running forward because it symbolizes the KMT progressing forward with Taiwan.

Critics of the mascot note that the human legs, closed eyes of the chicken and lumpy body are unlikely to inspire affection from young people. Indeed, the younger a person is, the more likely they are to be seriously frightened by an adult wearing such a mascot costume.

Then there is the peculiar childish face of a baby chick in the center of the body with a shock of blue hair, a mascot costume within a mascot costume, which is a reference to young people and the color of the KMT, but the imagery is more absurd than cute.

Then there is the symbolic negative aspect of having “two-faces” along with what would seem to be the obvious association that the word “chicken” has with cowardice in many of the world’s languages.

Speaking honestly to the KMT and its youth department, as a word of caution intended to be helpful and constructive, it would be an ill-considered political move to select the two-faced energetic chicken as your symbol.

In the current era of internet memes, inside jokes, viral marketing, and covert trolling, the consequences of mistaking widespread mockery for public interest, and then willingly adopting such a symbol for one’s own political party, even for just a single election cycle, could have unpredictable and lasting consequences for the KMT’s image.

But ultimately, the KMT has done this to themselves, and they may now be compelled of their own volition to lie in the bed they have made.