Carl's Jr. Is Trying Desperately to Escape Its Sexist Past

Carl's Jr. nixes sleaze to put focus back on food in rebrand campaign out of 72andSunny

The company unveiled a new ad strategy this week that literally pushes that guy (i.e. Carl Jr.) out of the office, and does away with all those hot girls eating burgers in their bikinis.

In their latest commercial released Wednesday, the fast-food chain pokes fun at their typically risqué shtick with a fictional father-son narrative pitting past against future.

A new commercial for the chains shows the imagined Carl Hardee Sr. taking back control of the operation from immature son Carl Hardee Jr.

At the end of the spot, Carl Hardee Sr. gets into an American classic vehicle with his son. A 60-second version of the ad will run during the NCAA championship game on Monday.

In real life, it's actually CKE Restaurant's CEO Andrew Puzder who is retiring in April, after withdrawing his nomination in February 2017 from becoming labor secretary in US President Trump's administration.

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In a 2015 interview with Entrepreneur, Puzder explained his thinking behind the ads of old: "I like our ads". Food-porn-like photos of burgers replace the sexy pin-ups, and then we see the restaurant's new tagline: "Pioneers of the great American burger". "We got the attention of this demographic, young hungry guys, which was what our marketing and research department advised us to do". It's not like it was 10, 12 years ago when we started this. "What kind of cooking system do you have?"

AdWeek notes the name Carl Hardee is an amalgam of the company's founders Carl Karcher and Wilbur Hardee.

A number of other women, including Kate Upton, Heidi Klum and Kim Kardashian have also starred in the company's racy ads. "I like handsome women eating burgers in bikinis".

"Perhaps you've noticed that Carl's Jr.is not exactly trying to market towards the ladies quite as much as they try to market on them", a blogger for the women's site Jezebel wrote said in 2013. "I'm sorry that they feel that way, but we saved the company with those ads, we saved a lot of jobs", Puzder, the former CEO of Carl's Jr. and Hardees, told FOX Business, earlier this month. "Hopefully this will help".

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