Well, this one's sure to stir up a little discussion. Sounding nothing like the former GoDaddy CEO, Bob Parsons -- who seemingly appreciated his brand's love affair with its sex sells approach from a
purely prurient perspective rather than a more business-centric one -- Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Puzder sounds more down to earth discussing his brands' approach to marketing.
with Arkansas' Hope Star
, Puzder says his Carl's Jr. and Hardee's ads featuring super-hot, scantily clad women have become part of
American culture. He says: "People watch for the ads and want to know when the next one's coming out." He cites, perhaps counter to recent Ameritest research
which found the percentage of people who plan to visit Carl's Jr. or Hardee's after seeing an
ad to be far lower than industry average for restaurants, that his ads "cut through the clutter" and appeal to the younger male audience the brands seek.
Discussing the many factors that
go into selecting models for ad campaigns and his choice of Kim Kardashian for a Carl's Jr. salad ad, Puzder said: "We used Kim Kardashian in an ad. But Kim really couldn't eat the burgers. Luckily,
we had a salad we were promoting, so we used Kim in the salad ad. But if we had not been promoting a salad, we probably never would've done an ad with Kim, because she wasn't good at eating the
burger. She's too tiny. She's really little."
Hmm. Little isn't exactly a word which comes to mind when thinking of Kim, but okay. Everyone sees things differently. And so do
Kardashian's reps, who noted that the reason she ended up in a salad ad was because she was promoting a fitness DVD at the time.
Of organizations complaining about Carl's Jr. ads and how
one particular group always send out an email to its members urging support against the brand of for a boycott, Puzder say: "One of these groups is headed by a very nice woman who I met at the
Republican Convention in 2012. And she came up and said, 'Andy, I read your stuff, I read what you write, and I agree with you politically. But I want you to know I'm the head of X organization and we
do these email blasts because we really don't like your ads.'
I grabbed her hand and said, 'Thank you.' And she said, 'What do you mean?' I said, 'If you guys don't do an email blast with one
of our ads, I run into the head of marketing and say, 'What's the matter with the ad?'"
Clearly Puzder isn't afraid of the naysayers or of bad press. And clearly the 10-year-old approach
has paid off for the brand. Because a seemingly intelligent guy like Puzder wouldn't be running ads like this if it weren't contributing to the brand's bottom line. Unless, of course, he's lying about
the fact that sales in the second half of the organization's last fiscal year were up five percent.