- CKE Restaurants brand Hardee's launched a new brand campaign and is teaming up with dating app Tinder on a promotion targeting younger consumers online and via mobile, according to a report from MediaPost and details provided to Marketing Dive.
- Singles who "swipe right" on and match with Hardee's "resident bachelor" Chris P. on Tinder will be given an offer for a buy-one-get-one-free Hardee's five-piece chicken tenders small combo. The promotion runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 8.
- The "Cause It Tastes Better" brand campaign, created with Arnold, is only the brand's second solo push after sharing marketing with sister brand Carl's Jr. for years, per MediaPost. Ads featuring celebrities as Hardee's general manager will run through December on TV, social, online and out of home.
As Hardee's sets its own marketing path for the first time, the brand is leaning on celebrities to support its positioning around quality food via ads targeting a broad audience. The focus on food is a change in tone from previous marketing that featured scantily clad women, according to MediaPost. At the same time, the Hardee's partnership with Tinder could be a hit with millennials and Gen Zers, who make up Tinder's largest user base. The promotion is well-timed, falling in "cuffing season," when singles seek out companions to help them get through the holidays and winter months. It follows a recent influencer-heavy push from fellow CKE Restaurant Holdings brand Carl's Jr. titled "Famous Stars, Eating Famous Stars."
Quick-service restaurants continue to unveil quirky campaigns aimed at building a following with younger consumers. Hardee's is hoping to encourage people to "swipe right" on the Tinder profile, and extend the engagement to social media and ultimately drive sales. The "Chicken Tinder" profile for Chris P. includes photos of a guy with a chicken tender for a head and a bio that reads: "Super tender and 100% real! Looking for someone with a healthy appetite for fun. Interests: traveling, podcasts NetChix and chill." Millennials have been tough for fast food brands to reach, as the group has generally opted for fresher, healthier foods. Gen Z, however, has shown an interest in fast food, so targeting this younger demographic is key for Hardee's.
Teaming up with dating apps is becoming a popular marketing tactic for brands who want to target younger consumers. Last year, Delta Air Lines and Tinder printed iconic locations from around the world on a building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to encourage selfie-takers to appear as world travelers and enhance their online dating profiles. HBO and dating app Bumble recreated a romantic-night-in experience this summer with its "Stay Home To The Movies" effort. Bumble users were invited to the event, set up in a New York City Brownstone, with movie screening rooms, a bathtub filled with sweets, a wine wall and quote wall.