Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hardee's rolls out its Fake Restaurant

Hardee's (known as Carl's Jr. outside the South) unveiled a new ad campaign continuing its aim to capture 20-something guys who worship big burgers.

The campaign: Fake Restaurant.
Its aim: Compare what "customers" would pay for a high-end burger at a fancy restaurant, when what they're really eating are Hardee's burgers out of a bag.

The elaborate set is in Malibu, Calif., where a faux eatery called Grade A Restaurant has opened as the third in a fictional chain. The menu was burgers only.

It will be curious to see what kind of response Hardee's gets from the campaign. Past campaigns have certainly alienated women, especially mothers, and guys outside of their college frat days.

Among the ones that raised the most ire: One ad from a few years back had a model undulating suggestively on a mechanical bull as she slurped a Hardee's burger. Radio spots with actors munching and grunting through Hardee's food (which had to have been a centimeter from the microphone) also sound an off-note with anyone female or older than 30.

The campaign starts today.