Hardee’s is using musical superstars to sing the praises of its restaurants in a lively new broadcast advertising campaign that begins March 7. The fast food burger chain has enlisted the talents of Lou Bega, Boys II Men, Lace and the duo of Smokey Robinson and Vonda Shepard to increase awareness and recognition of the Hardee’s brand.

The campaign, which is the centerpiece of Hardee’s $100 million marketing account, will use exclusively original music and lyrics sung and performed by the artists in their own distinctive styles. Johnson/Ukropina Creative Marketing, Hardee’s national creative agency, developed the campaign. The spots were directed by James Kellahin, the agency’s co-creative director and executive producer.

“This is an exciting time for Hardee’s, and we want our advertising to reflect that,” said Tom Kettinger, Hardee’s senior vice president of marketing. “We’ve invested millions of dollars to enhance the taste of our food, especially our burgers, and we’ve improved the look and feel of our restaurants. We want our advertising to motivate people to give the new Hardee’s a try, and, at the same time, we want to inspire and enthuse our employees.”

Hardee’s is in the midst of a major revitalization effort at its nearly 2,800 restaurants, located primarily in the Southeast and Midwest. To date, nearly a quarter of the Hardee’s restaurants have been remodeled to include charbroiling, food made fresh to order, all-you-can-drink beverage bars and sit-down service. Hardee’s expects the entire chain to be remodeled by 2002.

“Hardee’s is a great brand, and we want the music and celebrity star power of this campaign to make people feel good about Hardee’s again, said Joyce Ukropina of the Johnson/Ukropina agency.”We want to remind them it’s still the best place for biscuits, and let them know that it’s a great place for lunch and dinner, too.”

Initially, the campaign will highlight the great big taste of Hardee’s with special emphasis on Hardee’s Super Star cheeseburger, Made From Scratch(TM) Biscuits and chicken sandwiches.

Johnson/Ukropina was founded in 1991 by Carolyn Johnson and Joyce Ukropina after successful careers with Los Angeles-based DJMC Advertising, Jack in the Box Restaurants and Newport Beach-based Cochrane Chase Livingston and Company, Inc.

Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc., based in Rocky Mount, NC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Anaheim, Calif. CKE Restaurants is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange as CKR. Hardee’s operates a system of approximately 2,800 company and franchise restaurants in 34 states and 10 foreign countries.

News, Hardee's