What Paris Hilton did for Hardeeâs Thickburger, Carlâs Jr. hopes Kim Kardashian does for its salads.
Carlâs Jr. launched three salads the week of Dec. 14, and is using socialite Kardashian, a star on E! Entertainment Televisionâs âKeeping Up with the Kardashians,â to promote them. TV spots feature Kardashian and her fondness for âbed picnics,â followed by bubble baths.
âItâs true, I love to have bed-picnics,â Kardashian says in the ads, according to the release. âIâm such a neat freak, but I put out my towel and eat in bed, and then when it gets all messy I take a hot bubble bath after to wash it off.â
Courtesy Carl's Jr.
Carl's Jr.'s new Cranberry, Apple, Walnut Grilled Chicken Salad is the one Kardashian eats in the commercials. It has marinated chicken, feta cheese, apple slices, dried cranberries and glazed walnuts on a mix of ten different lettuces.
The promotion marks the first time the company has advertised entrÃ©e salads on television, although Carlâs Jr. claims to be the first fast-food restaurant to feature salad bars, which it launched in 1974. Beth Mansfield, director of public relations for Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE Restaurants Inc., said Carlâs Jr. was the first fast-food chain to offer premium packaged salads. CKE owns Hardeeâs and Carlâs Jr.
The Original Grilled Chicken Salad is a renovated version of the chainâs old Charbroiled Chicken Salad, and it joins two new salads on the menu, a Cranberry, Apple, Walnut Grilled Chicken Salad and a Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. All three are served on a bed of spring mix, but the Cranberry, Apple, Walnut Grilled Chicken Salad has 10 lettuce varieties, which can include green/red leaf, mizuna, green romaine, tango, green oak, green/red chard, arugula, frisee, and other varieties.
Salinas, Calif.-based Taylor Farms supplies the lettuce.
âWe worked with them very closely on development of the new salads, and they did extremely well in their test markets,â said Steve Ish, vice president of business development for Taylor Farms. âThe lift was very, very, very, very good.â
Carlâs Jr. is expecting a significant spike in volume over the next three weeks, Mansfield said Dec. 17.
âItâs an upscale salad, and itâs going beyond your basic iceberg/romaine blend,â Ish said. âThatâs what they were doing, and now theyâre introducing spring mix and spinach to the salad.â
Ish said the promotion is also timed perfectly with New Yearâs and the subsequent diet focus.
âAnd itâs just another example of great salad exposure and healthier items on the menu. Everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables, and Carlâs Jr. is doing an outstanding job promoting that.â
The salads cost $4.79 to $4.99. The chainâs former side salad dropped off the menu with the new launch, Mansfield said. They are made at each restaurant.
Courtesy Carl's Jr.
Socialite and television reality show star Kim Kardashian will be featured in ads for Carl's Jr.'s new salad line.
Hardeeâs and Carlâs Jr. started their series of seductive commercials, an attempt to connect with an 18-24-year-old male target audience, in June of 2005, according to its Web site. At that time, it launched a controversial commercial featuring Paris Hilton eating its Spicy BBQ Thickburger, which caused a backlash from several parents and family groups and associations and was pulled out of some more conservative markets, according to media reports.
Just this year, the company used supermodel and Bravo TVâs âTop Chefâ host Padma Lakshmi for Hardeeâs Western Bacon Cheeseburger. The ad showed the model eating the burger and licking dripped sauce off of herself.
Carlâs Jr. scheduled a Jan. 12 live event with Kardashian on its Facebook page, when she will eat salad in bed while interacting with fans on the site. A promotion and invitation to the event are already on the restaurant chainâs Facebook page.
âWe used Kim for a couple reasons. She has started doing fitness DVDs and sheâs kind of focused on health and fitness,â Mansfield said. âWith all the people we had in mind, we thought she would be a good fit with the brand.â
The salads are only available at Carlâs Jr. so far, but if Hardeeâs ever rolls them out, the company will reuse the Kardashian ad, Mansfield said.