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Carl’s Jr. to give free burgers to loyalty program members on Feb. 12

Irreverent marketing of the giveaway is an effort to distinguish the brand from sister chain Hardee’s

Carl’s Jr. is giving away free Western Bacon Cheeseburgers to its loyalty program members on Monday, Feb. 12, the day after the Super Bowl, the quick-service chain said Thursday.

Customers with the Carl’s Jr. app who have joined the My Rewards program will receive the “Free Burger Day” offer and can simply order it through the app or show the app offer to team members at a restaurant. No purchase is necessary.

The Western Bacon Cheeseburger is a beef patty with two strips of bacon, melted American cheese, onion rings, and barbecue sauce on a seeded bun, it normally retails for around $6.89.

To promote the deal, Carl’s Jr. is running an ad during the Super Bowl. It’s a fighter jet scene reminiscent of the Top Gun films with pilots rushing to get their free burger.

The spot will air in Carl’s Jr.’s markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The burgers are available while supplies last at participating restaurants in the more than 1,000-unit domestic system, 95% of which are franchised. 

The company also is promoting the offer via a spoof training web site with advice for managing unruly throngs of customers, such as blowing them away with powerful electric fans, defending oneself with trays, and sheltering under tables.  

Carl’s Jr. is part of CKE Restaurants Holdings, based in Franklin, Tenn., which also owns the Hardee’s chain.

“On Carl’s Jr. Free Burger Day, this deal and our flavors are sure to drive even our mild-mannered guests a bit burger crazed. Whether you are sad football season is coming to an end, or you celebrated a little too hard the night before, we want you to have a burger on us,” CKE chief marketing officer Jennifer Tate said in a statement. “It’s no secret that we are unapologetic about our flavors at Carl’s Jr. Our unique ingredients like house-made guacamole, whole Anaheim green chiles, pickled jalapeños and tangy Western BBQ Sauce create a visceral must-have-now urge among our guests.”

Tate, the CMO, also appears in a YouTube video assuring viewers that “everything is 100% probably under control,” as she dons protective garb and tells her family that she loves them.

The company said the giveaway is part of an effort to distance Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, which had often been marketed together.

Tate added via email that the company moved to differentiate the brands, which have different demographics, starting last summer.

They’re also largely in different markets as Hardee’s locations are mostly in the Midwest and Southeast.

This giveaway and the irreverent marketing of it is an indication of Carl’s Jr. “fully embracing its audacious and bold brand personality,” Tate said.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

TAGS: Marketing
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