Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. do away with racy bikinis and burgers ads


(WFLA) – Fast food restaurant chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardees have revamped their marketing strategies, doing away with their long-running, risque ads featuring scantily-clad women, according to Adweek.

The company was renown for its attention-grabbing ads, featuring big names like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Emily Ratajkowski chowing down on burgers or getting into cat fights in racy outfits.

“While the ‘bikinis and burgers’ approach did a lot to make eating fast-food burger seem sexy–which was a tall order–we needed an advertising vehicle that could allow us to tell our very compelling, but more rational, food quality story in an entertaining way,” Brad Haley, chief marketing officer of Carl’s Jr. parent company CKE Restaurants Holding Inc. told Fast Company. “The creative brief was to find a way to more directly and consistently communicate the food quality story that we have, but for which we weren’t getting credit.”

In their latest campaign a fictional character, Carl Hardee Sr. invades the company’s headquarters to clean house and usher in an new era of wholesome advertising.  He removes his son, who was responsible for the ads and running the company, from his office and takes over.

The timing of the ad’s release is interesting considering Andrew Puzder, the company’s former CEO who was President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Labor Department before withdrawing his nomination, is retiring in April.

“I like our ads. I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American,” Puzder told Entrepreneur last year. “I used to hear, brands take on the personality of the CEO. And I rarely thought that was true, but I think this one, in this case, it kind of did take on my personality.”

The new campaign comes a week after it was announced Jason Market would take over as the company’s new CEO. He comes to CKE from KFC where he was president of the U.S. business.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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