| October 2014 | By Barbara Basbanes Richter

The Lighter Side

Burger brands put marketing twist on healthier items.
image used with permission.
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Offering healthier dining options is essential in today’s competitive marketplace, even for a brand built on indulgence. Sometimes, though, it takes clever marketing to draw consumers’ attention to these better-for-you items.

CKE sister brands Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. did just that with the June launch of a marketing campaign promoting their low-calorie menus. With the help of marketing firm 72andSunny, CKE created backward versions of each brand’s website as a part of the campaign, dubbed “The Other Side.” Everything on the new websites—seedrah.com for Hardees and rjslrac.com for Carl’s Jr.—is displayed backward, suggesting a secret side to the standard menu.

“We are known for big, indulgent burgers, yet healthier items have been on the menu for years,” says CMO Brad Haley. “We wanted to show that there is in fact this ‘other side’ to our menu.” Consolidating healthy items in one place like a separate website or menuboard lets customers know exactly where to find them, he adds.

The deliberate marketing of these healthier options as a secret menu offers appeal to a younger demographic, says Lori Renzi, vice president of brand strategy and development for Charlie Baggs.

“Carl’s Jr and Hardee’s are trying to turn a new message into something consistent with the brands,” Renzi says. “Their approach to cashing in on Americans eating healthier is spot on. … If they were really brave, consumers might only find the healthier options by asking for ‘the other menu.’”