CKE Restaurants Declares Rightful Status as “Pioneers of the Great American Burger”

Fast food titan introduces overhauled advertising direction
emphasizing food quality, innovation and deep-rooted history as QSR
industry pioneers

FRANKLIN, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s
.® and Hardee’s®
restaurant chains, today announced the official launch of its new
advertising direction and brand ethos, beginning with declaring their
rightful status as “Pioneers of the Great American Burger”; the title
will also serve as the company’s new ad tagline.

“CKE has always been driven by a pioneering spirit — and whether it was
being the first hamburger QSR chain to charbroil burgers, igniting the
movement toward all-natural products with the All-Natural Burger or
introducing the all-you-can-drink beverage bar, nobody has done more to
shape the world of fast food as we know it than Carl’s Jr. and
Hardee’s,” said Mike Murphy, president and chief legal officer for CKE
Restaurants. “That extensive history of pioneering innovation is at the
heart of this new campaign, and we couldn’t be more excited to not only
continue evolving our brand, but also to share our story with a whole
new generation of restaurant goers.”

As a first step in this new direction, CKE debuted their “Pioneer
” commercial last week – It’s 30 seconds of tantalizing
adrenaline that delivers the most in-your-face, deliciously pop
culture-driven fast food history lesson of your life, all set to a
beat-thumping electropop soundtrack that hits harder than a Jalapeño

This week, the company introduces its new silver-fox of a
spokes-character and fictional founder, Carl Hardee Sr. (portrayed by
actor, singer, comedian, Charles
), who epically personifies this new irreverent, quality- and
pioneer-focused direction. In CKE’s newest commercial spot titled, “Carl
Hardee Sr. Returns
,” Carl Hardee Sr. is seen “taking back” the
company from “son,” Carl Hardee Jr. (portrayed by the Upright Citizens
Brigade’s Drew
). The self-parodying commercial campaign was developed by Los
Angeles-, New York- and Amsterdam-based creative agency 72andSunny,
and will have its nationwide broadcast debut on 4/1, during Adult Swim™
on Cartoon Network™, which draws an audience of millions each week.

“Since premiering our now iconic ad starring Paris Hilton 12 years ago,
Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have become synonymous with two things: bikinis
and burgers. While those provocative ads generated a lot of buzz for our
brands and were very successful for us, it was very difficult for that
kind of an ad to tell a more comprehensive story about the long list of
things we do to make better food than anyone else in our space…or better
food than most sit-down restaurants make, for that matter,” said Brad
Haley, chief marketing officer for CKE Restaurants. “Things like using
100 percent Black Angus beef or all-natural beef and chicken, making
biscuits from scratch, hand-breading chicken tenders and hand-scooping
ice cream shakes. The problem was that we just weren’t getting credit
for all that effort. But now, we have the perfect storyteller to tell
that impressive story, and our creative agency partner, 72andSunny,
really outdid themselves by conceptualizing not only the campaign, but
the broader rebranding effort as well.”

“The best stories have a storyteller,” said Jason Norcross, partner and
executive creative director at 72andSunny. “Creating both Carl Hardee
Sr. and Carl Hardee Jr. gives us a fresh way to talk about the food,
while helping the brand get credit for all the pioneering it does in the
industry. People care about what’s in their food more than ever, and
this campaign is all about getting back to talking about what makes
Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s stand out against its competition – its history
of innovation and the story behind its quality products. We’re really
proud of our partnership with CKE, and it’s exciting to work with a
brand that’s brave and collaborative. This is just the beginning and
we’re excited for what’s to come.”

In addition to the new commercial campaign, the overhaul will touch many
facets of the brands’ identity, including:

  • Modernized company logos – The previously retro-inspired logos
    will be replaced with a bold, yet streamlined, modern typeface that
    combines the classy, smooth look of the original script font with an
    elevated sensibility; a simple yellow star will remain a focus to
    honor CKE’s iconic “Happy Star” heritage.
  • Food photography (including product imagery, menu boards,
    billboards and point-of-purchase promotional assets) – Characterized
    by a dark and bold richness, each menu item will see its inherent
    quality and dripping deliciousness put in the spotlight — literally.
    CKE’s menu offerings are taking center stage as the hero for this
    rebrand, and the company’s updated presentation style ensures nothing
    distracts viewers from the true star of the show: the food.

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s will continue to serve the signature,
premium-quality products that customers have come to revere, including
their line of 100 percent Black Angus Beef Thickburgers®, Hand-Breaded
Chicken Tenders™, Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shakes™, and all-natural beef
and chicken products, all brought directly to you with sit-down
restaurant-style table service.

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. Download the Super
Star® Rewards app from the iTunes
 and Google
 and check in to redeem Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s products on the
spot, save points for a high-value reward, check out the full menu, and
use the store locator to find any Carl’s Jr. or Hardee’s in the U.S.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company
headquartered in Franklin, TN. CKE is not a franchisor and conducts
substantially all of its restaurant activities and operations through
its subsidiaries. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants
LLC own, operate and franchise the Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito®
and Red Burrito® concepts. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s operate as one brand
under two names, acknowledging the rich regional heritage of both
banners. After opening their first New York and New Jersey restaurants
in 2015 and recent international openings in Chile, Cambodia and Kenya,
Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC now have over
3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 41
foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind
premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made
from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™, as well as an
award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand
continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and
overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 94 percent franchised,
with international restaurants representing 21 percent of the system.
For more information about CKE, please visit
or its brand sites at


On behalf of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
Coast Public Relations
Franklin, 818-606-9784