On Super Bowl Sunday, arguably, the commercial (banned in some markets) that will be most talked about in 2015 will be the super-racy Carl’s Jr. spot. At a time when advertisers for Show Down 49 are scaling back — sort of– sexist, skin-baring commercials that exploit female assets, the Carl’s “racy” Super Bowl ad ends with a “natural” twist. Alert: spoiler and video ahead.
The big game is traditionally a time where tech, cinema, psychology and decency issues meet and often clash at the same time, despite the omnipresence of the FCC’s watchful eye. Television advertising, by far, accounts for a large portion of a company’s budget, and the costs continue rising.
— Kimbirly (@Kimbirly) January 21, 2015
And when a sporting event like the Super Bowl rolls around, brands with deep pockets can expect to pay into the millions for just a 30 second spot. With that kind of money on the line, only the top-notch projects make the cut, but oftentimes with controversy. Carl’s Jr. a regional hamburger chain is ruffling feathers of feminist groups that are assailing the company for its racy Super Bowl 2015 commercial. The spot features model Charlotte McKinney (the super-hot dame popular for her spreads in Guess ads) ambling along through a farmers market in slow motion as if she’s on a catwalk. Throughout her stroll, there’s every hint that she’s in the buff, as evidenced by her sultry voice.
“I love going All-Natural. It just makes me feel better.”
Want to watch model Charlotte McKinney go All-Natural? Check it out here: http://t.co/4yGfNk982W.
— Carl’s Jr. (@CarlsJr) January 21, 2015
The 21-year-old busty blonde bombshell appears as if she’s naked while walking through throngs of shoppers, thanks to strategically-placed spray from a watering hose, blocks of ice, fruit made to look like a pert derriere and a set of melons. Apparently, 72 and Sunny, the Los Angeles-based company behind the Carl’s Jr. commercial, say the racy spot is inspired by an Austin Powers movie where Mike Meyers and Elizabeth Hurley star as two secret agents.
In the end, the burger model is revealed to be fully-clothed (the jury is still out on this) in bikini as she takes a huge bite out of the Carl’s Jr. burger.
So, here’s the bare and naked truth: The Carl’s Jr.’s racy Super Bowl commercial is a savvy promotion of its All-Natural Burger. The company claims the hamburger is the first of its kind among fast foot chains to have a patty without hormones, steroids, or antibiotics, and is grass-fed.
Carl’s Jr. is no stranger to creating controversy during Super Bowl games. The burger chain is behind two other spots that tested the limits of media decency.
Back in 2005, Carl’s came under fire when it aired a Super Bowl ad featuring bikini-clad socialite Paris Hilton, who was depicted washing a pricey automobile in a seductive way while eating a Carl’s Jr. hamburger. Another spot in 2012 featured Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton chowing down on Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s jalapeno-laced Southwest Patty Melt. Upton gets so hot after taking a bite, she has to remove her sweater, which reveals the buxom model’s cleavage.
Not surprisingly, feminist activist groups say racy Super Bowl Commercials like the Carl’s Jr. spot objectifies women, and are inappropriate for shows touted as “family-friendly.” Branding consultant Erika Napoletano agrees, and has doubts about the TV spot.
“It’s like porn meets American Pastime. It makes NFL cheerleaders — underpaid and underclothed — look like nuns in comparison. She doesn’t look like any women I know. This is all about the cheap, visual joke.”
However, Brad Haly, chief marketing officer for CKE Restaurants, the parent to burger chains Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has another take on the controversial Super Bowl ad. He contends that the commercial spot represents the brand in a responsible way.
“We don’t show things in our ads that you won’t see at the beach on any given warm, weekend. We don’t cross the line — but we like to get right to the line.”
It’s time for you to weigh in. Does the 2015 Carl’s Jr. Super Bowl commercial cross the line? Is it too racy for prime time TV?
[Image via: TotalProSports]