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Burger Bashing

September 18, 1997

Editor's Note: A letter published last Thursday that bashed the Carl's Jr. campaign as "disgusting" drew similar reactions from other readers. The fast-food chain's TV commercials show young adults, mostly men, wolfing down messy hamburgers that drip, as the slogan goes, "all over the place." Among the respondents this week is a representative of Mendelsohn/Zien, the advertising agency for Carl's Jr.

Mendelsohn/Zien created the Carl's Jr. campaign in May 1995 to communicate that burger lovers had a place to happily devour big, messy, drippy, juicy burgers. It was important for the commercials supporting this regional chain to be bold, entertaining and ultimately memorable to break through the much higher spending levels of national competition.

The results have been nothing short of spectacular. By the end of 1995, same-store sales [sales at restaurants open at least a year] had improved 4.6% versus the prior year. By year-end 1996, same-store sales had increased an additional 10.6%. As the campaign is now in its third year, same-store sales are up an additional 5%.

While our intent with the commercials is to entertain, we recognize that not everybody appreciates the humorous, exaggerated scenarios that play themselves out in each commercial. We will continue to fine-tune the campaign in response to the continual challenges the fast-food category poses.

GARY ROTHLIEN

Director of brand analysis

Mendelsohn/Zien

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