CKE Press Release

Charlotte McKinney

February 09, 2015


Ad for the Big Game Surpasses Previous Results from Campaigns Starring Kate Upton, Paris Hilton and Nina Agdal

CARPINTERIA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Carl’s Jr.® knows the recipe for Big Game success. With gorgeous stars, innovative burgers, and edgy storylines, the brand is known worldwide for producing ad campaigns that get noticed. However, this year’s Super Bowl commercial, like the game, itself, was one for the record books. Today, the brand is pleased to announce that its most recent “Au Naturel” commercial for the fast-food first All-Natural Burger has turned star and 21-year-old Floridian model Charlotte McKinney into an overnight pop culture phenomenon and has generated more media attention and video views at a faster rate than any ad campaign in the company’s history.

“Carl’s Jr. has long been famous for not only developing innovative burgers and other menu items that are new to fast food, but for advertising them in a way that our target audience of ‘Young Hungry Guys’ can’t seem to get enough of,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for Carl’s Jr. “However, the success of our Super Bowl ad starring the lovely Charlotte McKinney is unprecedented. In less than two weeks, the commercial for the new All-Natural Burger has generated nearly 2.5 billion media impressions and 9.5 million YouTube views – two milestone records that were reached faster than any ad in our history. Congratulations and thanks to Charlotte for using her sense of humor, acting talent, and stunning good looks to create a bit of fast food advertising history with us. We wish her well on what I’m sure will be a very successful career.”

Of her recent notoriety McKinney says, “It’s been so surreal starring in the recent Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl ad. They’re such an iconic brand featuring so many different women over the years and I feel fortunate to be a part of this campaign.”

Impossible to ignore, the “Au Naturel” ad shows McKinney in what appears to be her most natural state as she browses a local farmer’s market while enjoying her Carl’s Jr. All-Natural Burger, a fast-food industry first featuring a grass-fed, free-range, all-natural beef patty with no added hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Suggestively highlighting the benefits of going au naturel, viewers can see that the All-Natural Burger is as all-natural as Charlotte herself.

Despite airing in only the western half of the country, the ad, which was created by Los Angeles- and Amsterdam-based creative agency 72andSunny, has garnered top industry accolades and impressive stats, making AdAge’s index of Most Engaging Ads and ranking the third most shared Super Bowl ad across all social media networks combined (Source: Shift Communications).

In addition, the accompanying social media campaign, which featured McKinney taking over the Carl’s Jr. Twitter handle during the Big Game, helped generate over 4,500 Carl’s Jr.-related tweets that totaled more than 41 million impressions.

Since its launch in restaurants Dec. 17, strong sales of the All-Natural Burger have exceeded forecasts every week and were the strongest to date during the week of the Big Game when the ad was first unveiled.

“It’s clear that there is not only interest in more natural menu options, but also in the kind of break-through advertising Carl’s Jr. and sister chain Hardee’s create to promote our new menu items,” Haley continued.

Follow Carl’s Jr. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest product news and promotional offers. Download the Super Star® Rewards app from the iTunes Store and Google Play and check in to redeem Carl’s Jr. products on the spot, save points for a high-value reward, check out the full menu and use the store locator to find any Carl’s Jr. in the U.S.

About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Carpinteria, Calif. Through its subsidiaries, CKE owns and licenses Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s® quick-service restaurants. CKE operates Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s as one brand under two names acknowledging the regional heritage of both banners. CKE has a total of 3,539 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and 33 foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits, Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™ and Fresh Baked Buns, as well as an award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 78 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 18 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit or its brand sites at and

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