Sister quick-service chains Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s will roll out a new Jim Beam Bourbon Burger this week along with a new ad campaign featuring model Heidi Klum.
With the tagline, “A mature burger for mature tastes,” the new burger features a charbroiled beef patty topped with a sauce flavored with Jim Beam bourbon, along with crispy onion straws, two strips of bacon, pepper Jack cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Priced at a recommended $3.59 — or $6.09 at Carl’s Jr. and $5.59 at Hardee’s with fries and a drink — the new burger is already available throughout the 1,944-unit Hardee’s system, and will launch on Wednesday at the 1,369-unit Carl’s Jr. chain.
“Higher-end restaurants have long served menu items flavored with branded spirits, but until now they had yet to find their way onto fast-food menus, and we considered it our mission to change that,” said Brad Haley, chief marketing officer for both brands, in a statement.
The ad for the new offering features Klum as Mrs. Robinson from the movie "The Graduate." The campaign follows CKE’s longtime tradition of using young women with ample cleavage to get the attention of the brand’s target audience of young, hungry men — though many in the chain’s under-35 demographic may not be familiar with the 1967 movie that inspired the commercial.
“The Graduate” starred a young Dustin Hoffman as a recent college graduate who is seduced into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the wife of his father’s business partner. In the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s spin on the theme, Klum, who turns 40 this year, plays a Mrs. Robinson-type character who seduces a younger man with the indulgent burger.
The ad is scheduled to begin airing nationally on March 25.
Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s have featured bourbon burgers as limited-time offers in the past, though not associated with any distilled spirit brand. CKE is also not the first restaurant chain to partner with Jim Beam.
Over the past two years, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers has featured a limited-time Sweet Jim Beam Bacon Swiss Burger, in which onions were caramelized with bourbon and the patty was topped with a sweet bourbon glaze.
Both Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are owned by Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE Restaurants Inc.
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