Carl's Jr. & Hardee's campaign adds reality TV


After years of promoting the sit-down restaurant quality of its premium burgers, a new campaign for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s takes that notion farther than it has ever been taken before. The fast-food burger chains’ new campaign, called "Fake Restaurant," captures on hidden camera the true-life experience of customers who believed they were eating uber-expensive burgers at a fancy restaurant — only to find out they were really enjoying Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s burgers.

From valet parking to white linen tablecloths, every aspect of the faux, fine-dining establishment, with the made-up name of Grade A Restaurant, was created for the experiment. The set was carefully constructed in Malibu  and included details expected as part of any high-end restaurant experience, including a framed profile of the fictional Chef Hooper and phony reviews at the entrance.

The series of television commercials showing real people eating real burgers at a fake restaurant, started airing 5/20 in Hardee’s markets, and begin airing in Carl’s Jr. markets beginning June 22. The commercials carry on a decade-long strategy at both brands to utilize innovative advertising intended to appeal to young, hungry guys. The ads were via Mendelsohn|Zien LA.

To see the commercials, go to