Carl’s Jr. counts on Kim Kardashian, coupons to boost social standing

Carl’s Jr. has employed reality TV star Kim Kardashian to push its new line of salads through social media channels.

The idea behind the social media campaign is to acquire new customers by capitalizing on Kardashian’s celebrity and reaching out to her followers across the Internet. Kardashian has more than 2.6 million followers on Twitter and more than 500,000 friends on Facebook.

“Kim is an absolute Internet sensation, and she has vast audience that is already following her online. Her site is heavily trafficked as well,” said Brad Rosenberg, digital marketing manager at CKE Restaurants. “Her fans are already in these social media environments online. By partnering with her, we hope to bring some of her fans into our environments on social media.”

The campaign was created by Los Angeles-based advertising agency Mendelsohn|Zien. The video ads will debut next week on the Carl’s Jr. Facebook page and YouTube channel, and on television across Carl’s Jr. markets starting Dec. 28, 2009. The tag line of the campaign is “Who says salads can’t be hot?” and ties the sex symbol to the fast food restaurant’s first ever line of salads. Kardashian fans are asked to become Carl’s Jr. fans through coupons on their social media page.

“Salads are something that we have never featured before. It is a new introduction of this product for Carl’s Jr., and her fanbase is our target demographic of young, hungry guys and gals,” added Rosenberg. “Her celebrity will help us introduce this totally new product and bring her fans into the fold.”

The campaign also includes a live event on January 13. Kardashian will host “The Ultimate Salad Lunch Date,” broadcast live on Carl’s Jr.’s Facebook page. Kim will interact with fans during the lunch and chat via Webcam, while eating the Carl’s Jr. salad. Consumers who purchase any of the new salads between Wednesday, Dec. 30 and Tuesday, Jan. 12 will be given an access code to ask Kim questions during the lunch date. No code is required to watch the video event online.

There is also an augmented reality portion of the campaign. Kardashian will appear online in 3D, inviting guests to join her for the lunch. Following the invitation, Kim’s avatar can blow a kiss or do a twirl. The digital elements are being handled by 72andSunny, Carl’s Jr.’s digital agency of record.

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