This is an ad campaign gone right.
Remember when Carl’s Jr. decided to peddle fast food by filming Paris Hilton, clad in a black bikini, provocatively washing a Bentley while eating a hamburger? We thought so—it’s kinda hard to forget.
The 2005 commercial was so risqué, in fact, the Parents Television Council called the ad “soft-core porn.”
Well, it’s 13 years later and Carl’s Jr. is revisiting its controversial past in the best way.
In a new ad, Australian comedian Celeste Barber soaps up a station wagon—complete with a stick figure family—instead of a Bentley.
You may recognize Barber from her wildly popular Instagram feed. In her extremely relatable posts, she recreates photos of models and famous people to promote more realistic beauty standards.
This is definitely a smart move on the company’s part. Despite the uproar over the Hilton commercial, Carl’s Jr. continued to run similar ads for years. Industry experts eventually began to suspect that the campaign, though definitely head-turning, was doing more harm than good. People were actually less inclined to buy the burgers after watching the over-the-top ads.
It's almost as if people respond well to seeing realistic advertising. Crazy, right?
"As a mother, I see myself in these ads. I hose down car seats, just like Celeste," Patty Trevino, Carl's Jr.'s senior vice president of brand marketing told TODAY Food. "I’m constantly running around picking up after them [her kids]. I think everyone can see a little bit of themselves in Celeste’s humor, which is what makes it so real.”