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Hardee’s breaks from Carl’s Jr with a dedicated campaign

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By Kyle O'Brien | Creative Works Editor

April 10, 2018 | 3 min read

Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s have been mainly the same restaurant – a popular burger chain – with only the name and US region as a difference. That’s changed recently, as chain owner, CKE Restaurants, decided to separate the two and give Hardee’s a voice of its own.

Hardee's ad

Hardee's Tastes Like America ad

A new campaign celebrates the distinct customer, food culture, and voice Hardee’s has in popular US food culture, and it’s one that looks distinctly middle America.

For the first time in nearly a decade, Hardee’s is taking center stage, celebrating America’s heartland with a brand-defining campaign, ‘Tastes Like America.’ Created by Havas Chicago, ‘Tastes Like America’ celebrates the values Hardee’s shares with its customers throughout the country and looks to feature real people, real moments, and real food.

“No fast food brand has ‘comfort culture’ more core to its DNA than Hardee’s,” said Jeff Jenkins, chief marketing officer, CKE Restaurants. “Just like we’re pushing ‘crave culture’ forward with Carl’s Jr., we’re going to use this new campaign to introduce customers to ‘comfort culture’ at Hardee’s, placing a heavy emphasis on local pride and quality food.”

As the first-ever solo advertising campaign for Hardee’s, the brand is pushing Americana hard. An auto-tuned pop-country campaign song and images of hard-working people doing typical leisure activities are meant to appeal to those in a market that covers the Midwest and the southern United States.

The voice heard in the song is ‘hick-hop’ music star, Big Wet, whose voice, according to Hardee’s, “personifies an authentic, relaxed vibe that 'comfort culture' is all about. His voice is featured on Hardee's new television commercial and anthem song, which partners his musical style with real people in Hardee's markets.”

Said Jason Peterson, chief creative officer, Havas Creative, US: “Hardee’s is part of the fabric of a modern American culture. It’s a reflection of a contemporary society in America that isn’t celebrated often enough.”

In the coming months, Hardee’s marketing efforts will take the campaign to regional and local levels. Customers can expect to see a revived look and feel at their local Hardee’s, plus new menu items featuring their handmade process, and regional campaigns tailored to the unique nature of local markets across America.

Hardee's: Tastes Like America by Havas Chicago

By Hardee's

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