Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr. shows respect for its audience, which evidently does not include me, my wife, or my daughter.

All I know is I feel wrong when one of these ads comes on TV and I’m sitting with my wife and daughter. I feel these ads are setting back our mutual dreams of a world where they only thing that matters is the content of their character.

So let’s talk about this idea I have that a company begins to succeed most wildly when its ideal customer feels the company respects them. In some way.

As strange as it is to lift up in celebration a series of ads I can personally barely tolerate and might actually despise, well, I think the CEO of Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr. has shown he respects a very specific, narrow band of customers that he apparently considers ideal.

Samantha Hoopes is probably a very smart, intelligent, kind and interesting personality. Yet I feel that I am setting the cause of equality and respect between the sexes back simply by using this obvious and appropriate illustration for my blog post. I HAVE BECOME PART OF THIS VEXING CAPITALIST-SOCIETAL CONUNDRUM.
Samantha Hoopes is probably a very smart, intelligent, kind and interesting personality. Yet I feel that I am setting the cause of equality and respect between the sexes back simply by using this obvious and appropriate illustration for my blog post. I HAVE BECOME PART OF THIS VEXING CAPITALIST-SOCIETAL CONUNDRUM.

And though this interview notes that “CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s and Hardee’s, is privately held and doesn’t disclose financial results” it also notes that its “…sales were up 5 percent at established locations in the second half of its last fiscal year.”

So I guess this supports that Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr.’s CEO’s customers who are probably all young, burger-eating guys, feel his respect. And they reward his respect with their dollar bills, tucked into the CKE coffers.

I’ve discussed this tricky, unpleasant topic before in this blog.

His women-as-sex-object approach keeps working, though, I think because it creates the sensation that Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. is a personality which is defined, distinct, consistent, and readily identifiable.

And as I say in Chapter Seven of Selling Eating, a brand voice is sort of all you have in the end, as a company:

“…You can change the menu, change the interior, redo the logo, move to new locations, and hire a different spokesman when yours dies. If you retain your personality and brand voice through it all, your customers will remain loyal.”

So look how consistent this latest ad is with the ads of several years ago.

Also, enjoy Jimmy Kimmel’s riffing—something he can do because he knows his viewers easily understand the clarity of the Hardee’s / Carl’s Jr. brand voice. (h/t Adweek)