Posted by: David Kiley on May 25, 2005
As the father of a corruptible three year old, I should abhor the racy TV ad by Carl’s Jr. featuring a scantily clad Paris Hilton sudsing up a Bentley to the tune of “I Love Paris in The Spring time.” Right?
Sorry. Despite protests from parent watchdog groups, like The Parents Television Council, this is just plain smart marketing in today’s world. Carl’s Jr has a much smaller ad budget than its competitors. They can’t compete media dollar for dollar and hope to get any real share of voice against McDonald’s and Burger King. So, the chain occasionally reaches for the provocative. Bravo!( I did, however, dislike the fetus ad they did several week back.) Let’s not be too serious about our hamburgers, shall we? Though I do advocate keeping fast food ads off juvenile TV like Nickelodeon.
After the hoopla began over the ad (which reminds this nearly 42 year old blogger of the scene in “Cool Hand Luke” in which a buxom blonde bombshell washed her car, getting herself all wet, in front of the chain-gang of prisoners)traffic to see the ad on a url Carl’s set up crashed the site for several hours. Now that’s a media buy!!!
Run the ad on conventional TV a few times, generate the controversy, the chatter and the interest, and let the Internet be your media buy. Let bloggers like me link to it. Was it tacky? Sure. Paris Hilton is a curious pop culture phenomenon who is hot with young edgy fast food eaters. Is the whole thing effective? For me, it works better than Oprah’s giveaway of Pontiacs on her show.
Blogger Adrants got it just right. "When will people learn. If you don't like something and you want it to go away, don't say anything. Certainly don't make comments you know will get picked up by every major publication in the world thereby destroying the strategy you set out to accomplish."