Fast food enthusiasts know that, names aside, Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are largely indistinguishable. No more, apparently, as parent company CKE Restaurants has finally decided to let the two brands develop their own “distinct” voices. Interestingly, the voice of Carl’s Jr. sounds a whole lot like Rust Cohle.
Carl’s has a new series of commercials for its Western Bacon Cheeseburger and the idea seems to be: Fill 30 seconds of airtime with a burger, barbecue sauce, and a dose of 100 percent, undiluted McConaughey:
Carl’s made four others, and the more of them you watch, the weirder they honestly seem to get:
They make no freaking sense, and that’s the point. (They are also, it’s worth pointing out, far superior to Carl’s previous campaigns, which featured bikini-clad women eating giant burgers.) The rebrand, of course, also follows Andy Puzder’s departure as CEO and reports of rampant sexual harassment in the company.
Getting away from that image — good idea — is a big part of what CKE’s current CEO Jason Marker hopes to accomplish with the new branding strategy: “We say Carl’s is the bold and aggressive one,” Marker explains. “Hardee’s is earnest and authentic. Hardee’s is comfort food, and Carl’s is the big taste you can feel.”