CKE Restaurants, Inc. Brands Remain Impossible to Ignore; Enlists Partner Havas as Creative Agency of Record
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CKE Restaurants, Inc. Brands Remain Impossible to Ignore; Enlists Partner Havas as Creative Agency of Record

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s Set Out to Become Two Separate Brands; Will Remain Friends

February 20, 2018 // // FRANKLIN, TN - CKE Restaurants, Inc. announces they are giving Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s a shot at their solo careers and will create two separate, distinct brands, under CKE. CKE will continue to maintain each of the brands’ unique, “impossible to ignore” personas, while keeping the quality, taste and value of the food firmly as the star.

A major step in this brand evolution comes today as CKE Restaurants announces the selection of Havas Chicago as Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s creative agency of record, responsible for digital, social, TV, radio and OLV content needs for both brands. Using their unique content creation model, speed to market and clear read on today's cultural insights, Havas will build separate brand identities for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, starting immediately with Carl’s Jr.

“Carl’s Jr. has been, and always will be a brand that’s impossible to ignore,” said Jeff Jenkins, chief marketing officer, CKE Restaurant, Inc. “We are excited to partner with Havas, whose reputation for breakthrough creative aligns perfectly with our vision for these two brands moving forward, to put our great tasting food at the forefront of the business.”

Carl’s Jr. is the first brand out the gate with a new multi-channel campaign…and voice. The campaign, titled, “Call of Carl’s,” is powered by the voice of actor Matthew McConaughey. Together, they embark on an unapologetic crusade to create a “crave culture”. Carl’s Jr. will leverage this behavioral phenomenon to create a manifestation and vocalization of food cravings, specifically around the brand’s iconic Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

The culinary team at Carl’s Jr. dedicate their lives to the art of food and spent tireless nights trying to crack the code of crave culture. Their attempt to understand the reasoning behind what we crave and when, might one day point to the meaning of life. For now, Carl’s Jr. has uncovered the existence of three distinct types of cravings: Craving what the body wants, craving what the body needs, and a third craving that's a hybrid. This third, known as "associative craving," occurs when we yearn for food that has a rich, meaningful connection to a personal experience. Teams in the Franklin, TN based headquarters reached a startling conclusion when they combined a familiar voice with the visual associations of Carl’s Jr.’s mouthwatering food, triggering a crave calling for Carl’s Jr.

“The speed of marketing today is leaving brands and traditional agencies behind,” said Jason Peterson, chairman and chief creative officer, Havas Creative, U.S. “By shifting both our thinking and making from ‘creatives’ to ‘creators,’ we’re able to come up with culturally relevant ideas, and create and execute them with immediacy. As a brand that understands the need to be one step ahead of culture, CKE embraced this model and knew this is what it would take to create inspired work for both brands.”

Carl’s Jr. has been impossible to ignore over the past couple of months, including new creative campaigns that put quality, taste and value at the forefront. Recently Carl’s Jr. launched a three-second 'Big Game' spot to support its first-ever Charbroiled Sliders menu launch and wooed Amazon with a 24-hour Twitter storm of billion-dollar partnership ideas. This momentum and support has led to the opening of Carl’s Jr.’s flagship restaurant in Manhattan, in addition to the 23 new restaurants opened in January, including international growth in Mexico, France, Spain and Cambodia.

Follow Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s on Facebook ( and, Twitter (@CarlsJr and @Hardees) and Instagram (@CarlsJr and @Hardees) for the latest product news and promotional offers. Prices may vary. Higher in Alaska and Hawaii.




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