Carl's Jr. is poking fun at its bikini babe past with a new ad that spoofs its infamous 2005 Paris Hilton car washing spot. Subbing for the Hilton hotel heiress in the new version is comedian Celeste Barber. She lathers up an aging station wagonnot a Bentley, like Hilton did in the 2005 ad that drew headlines and complaints from watchdogs like the Parents Television Council.
The premise is similar to the Instagram posts Barber does, posing similarly to images featuring models and celebrities. "When we approached her it really was about building on what she's done," says Patty Trevino, senior VP of brand marketing at CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc, which owns Carl's Jr. and Hardee's. Barber, who is from Australia, wasn't familiar with all of the past campaigns, Trevino says.
The voiceover is supplied by Matthew McConaughey who says in the ad that "the food is the star" at Carl's Jr. The chain has been using the actor's voice since February in ads that featured food close-ups. But those "didn't break through for us," Trevino says. The new campaign, called "Famous Stars Eating Famous Stars," (one of the chain's signature burgers is the Famous Star) also includes Instagram posts featuring people including singer Ashlee Simpson Ross.