If you can't beat them, co-brand them. Carl's Jr. and Hardee's rolled out a new line of under-500-calorie turkey burgers this week designed through a partnership with Men's Health. The perennial (unintentional) star of the magazine's Eat This, Not That, is looking to offer a healthier option for men. The problem is that in comes with the same packaging and a tired concept. And so here are the top five reasons that you won't remember that Carl's Jr. once sold turkey burgers.
5. Men are shallow, not stupid. We will watch the ad above repeatedly. We will not be motivated to purchase a turkey burger by said ad. At cocktail parties, we will lament that advertising geared toward men is striving for the lowest common denominator. Then we will continue to watch the ad repeatedly.
4. The turkey burger fad is over. This would have been a big deal two decades ago, but most people have eaten a turkey burger by now and understand why they've never been a mainstream offering.
3. Carl's Jr. is outside its wheelhouse. You dance with the overstuffed, two-handed burger that brought you into people's cars and expanding waistlines. You don't attempt to slap some teriyaki sauce, pineapple and Swiss cheese on a charbroiled patty and expect to change overnight.
2. Calories don't determine fast-food orders. Whether this changes with calories being posted on menus remains to be seen; however, I've never seen someone calculate their calories before deciding whether to upsize a meal.
1. Where's the Carl's Jr. turkey burger? When I read about a Carl's Jr. turkey burger, I expected to see some version of Beer Kitchen's TurDuckEn burger (a chicken patty topped with duck confit and turkey bacon). Carl's Jr. is about making a mistake for lunch, and that mistake is not ordering a "low-calorie" burger.
As always, feel free to share your feelings on whether the turkey burger is here to stay or merely the latest excuse for Carl's Jr. to get a woman in a bikini.