Carl’s Junior, a hamburger chain with locations in the Western United States, has long been a fast food advertising poser. It has tried to break through and had some momentary hits but never really latched onto a powerful branding idea.
An article in today’s New York Times, however, shows they do finally have an idea and seem to be supporting it. “Young and hungry,” though slightly derivative of Burger King’s strategy is a tight, actionable branding idea. I say it touches upon BK’s strategy because from a business standpoint the real turn around at Burger King IMHO was when it decided to target young males with big appetites, getting them to double and triple up their meat intake. And celebrate it.
Carl’s Junior has employed as spokesman Rob Dyrdek. Though not young, Mr. Dyrdek is certainly hungry and quite the skateboarding phenom. He comes with a prepackaged young and hungry persona, an MTV show or two, a strong following among the target and he does tricks.
If Carl’s plays its cards right and manages this branding idea correctly, e.g., make the food look good (off-camera), serve obscene portions, etc. it will gain share hungrily. Peace!