Carl’s Jr. Serves Up New Burger Via YouTube
Eleven-year-old Elliot Srikantia is the perfect example of what Carl’s Jr. aimed to achieve with its recent viral “How I Eat a Burger” campaign. Srikantia is a fan of one of the YouTube stars the company asked to promote the chain’s new Portobello Mushroom Six Dollar Burger. But the Shaker Heights, Ohio, resident had never eaten at a Carl’s Jr.
Then, he visited family in Oakland, Calif., last month and repeatedly asked to visit Carl’s Jr. to taste the burger. For Srikantia, the chance to try the sandwich was the highlight of his trip to California.
For Carl’s Jr., the YouTube partnership met its mark, with more than 6 million online views of the videos and one of the chain’s most successful burger launches.
As a regional chain, the company is continually looking for fresh ways to target its young, hungry guy demographic on a limited marketing budget. The brand is known for its sexy television ads and has more recently created buzz for its edgy work online, where the 18-34 age group spends more of its time.
The brand’s latest effort drew on the online viewing power of nine YouTube video creators, or vloggers, in a campaign developed by the innovations group for the chain’s media agency Initiative.
Ezra Cooperstein, Initiative’s vice president and director of the innovations group, said the agency was pretty confident it could leverage the video creators’ combined total of 3.8 million YouTube subscribers to draw attention to the burger as well as the brand’s new YouTube channel.
“We decided this was a really interesting advertising opportunity for a brand that was looking to have some immediate buzz around a product launch,” Cooperstein said.
The innovations group worked with You Tube and parent company Google to choose nine of the top 20 video creators, known as key influencers in social media. The vloggers were paid an undisclosed flat fee and asked to create a video on the topic “How I eat a burger” and specifically mention the Portobello Mushroom burger.
All the videos launched simultaneously on each of the vlogger’s sites. Carl’s Jr. also launched its new YouTube channel at the same time, redirecting each of the videos to the brand’s channel.
Two of the videos received more than 1 million views each, including comedy group NigaHiga’s “The Portobello Mushroom Burger,” which topped Visible Measures’ weekly Viral Video Chart in its first week.