Carl’s Jr. launches ad campaign as it tries to forge its own identity

On average, 28 percent of fast-food eaters would consider buying from the top five quick-service chains — McDonald’s, Subway, Wendy’s, Burger King and Taco Bell — the next time they’re out for fast food, while only 11 percent would consider Carl’s Jr.

“This is likely why parent company CKE Restaurants just split Carl’s Jr. from its fellow Hardee’s chain,” YouGov’s CEO Ted Marzilli wrote on the company’s website. “Even with actor Matthew McConaughey just recruited for a new series of TV spots, Carl’s Jr. and its new creative agency Havas have their work cut out for them.”

While the two brands will continue to share some menu items, like hand-breaded chicken strips and hand-spun shakes, Marker told CNBC that CKE Restaurants is working to showcase what is special about the brands as individuals.

While Carl’s Jr. is bold and edgy, Hardee’s has a reputation for offering Southern classics and has more of a comfort food feel, according to Marker.

“We are going to make sure the brands are separated in the right way and have a unique pipeline of innovations for each brand,” he said.

The hope is that these efforts, as well as continued store expansion, will give Carl’s Jr. a much-needed boost.

“We are working on becoming the fastest-growing QSR brand in America,” Marker said.

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