Back to burgers: Carl's Jr. ditches bikini-clad ads

Carl's Jr.'s redesigned packaging

For years, Carl's Jr. and Hardee's TV ads featured sexy models, including Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Emily Ratajkowski, Sara Jean Underwood, and Kate Upton. It didn't exactly mention where Carl Hardee Sr. came from, but being a boss and a dad means business.

Interestingly enough, prior to his death in 2008, Carl's Jr. founder Carl Karcher was reportedly "heartbroken" that the company he founded on Christian principles had taken such a sexual turn with its advertising.

"If you've seen our ads, you know that we target young, hungry guys", Puzder previously said of the old ads. A new tagline has been revealed: "Pioneers of the great American burger". Not only has that speculation been confirmed, but it's been confirmed with an exclamation point: A new advert shows a character called "Carl Hardee Sr." returning, taking the reins of the burger business back from his immature, breast-obsessed son, "Carl Hardee Jr". Going forward, the yellow star will no longer have a happy face in the middle, and the red and white lettering will be replaced with black.

Will Carl's Jr. and Hardee's have better luck? "It was time to evolve", executive creative director Jason Norcross explained. Still, in an interview with USA Today, Puzder framed this new campaign as part of an effort to focus "more directly and convincingly" on the quality and taste of the restaurants' food, not just a changing of the guard.

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The company still has its eye on its prized "hungry young guy" demographic, but upscale changes are coming. We want to reclaim their bona fides.

For over a decade, the two-for-the-price-of-one burger chains Carl's Jr and Hardee's have been putting flesh ahead of meat in their television advertisements, focusing more attention on scantily clad women than the burgers they were chowing down on.

This is also following a trend of companies deciding to pivot away from their sexy images in an effort to attract broader, more sophisticated buyers. "Some of the product attributes got lost because people were too busy ogling girls".

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