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Kim Kardashian Is Latest Face of Carl's Jr.

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Guess who's joining the ranks of Paris Hilton, Padma Lakshmi, and Audrina Patridge as Carl's Jr. spokesperson? None other than reality show temptress Kim Kardashian.

Kardashian is teaming up with the burger chain — known for its risqué commercials — to promote its new premium salads. It'll be the first commercial spot the company has done for a menu item that's not a burger. The reality TV star says that while she's a healthy eater today, she has a number of fond memories involving Carl's Jr.

"Driving to Las Vegas, my dad would take the family and we'd stay at Circus Circus and we always stopped at Carl's Jr," she says.
"I remember this food fight my sisters and I all had in the back of the van – it was so funny. We got in so much trouble!"

A company spokesperson says Carl's Jr. targets "young, hungry guys, 18-34 years old. "Kim Kardashian appeals to both men and women. Her show ["Keeping Up with the Kardashians"] is a huge success, she has a large fan base, and she is very active online in social media."

The spokesperson said the concept for the TV spot came about during an introductory meeting with Kardashian. "This product is a perfect fit for Kim and her image as she's recently shifted her lifestyle to focus on fitness and health, though she doesn't want to sacrifice indulgence and taste in her diet."

Mintel says the approach makes sense, as men are not only more inclined to eat fast food than women, "they also do so with more frequency, making them an important consumer to the QSR market."

In its August market survey of the QSR business, the firm says lower-income households are the most frequent users of QSRs and "the group has a strong uptake in usage frequency as well -- positioning them as an essential demographic to consider in marketing and innovation."

The spokesperson says that as a regional brand with an ad budget that's much smaller than the other chains, "we try to make our ads iconic and memorable. If you are watching a Lakers game, you might see five ads for McDonald's but only one for Carl's Jr. so we want to make the most of that ad to ensure our young, hungry-guy target audience remembers it."

According to Mintel, Carl's Jr. has seen share flat at around 2.3% of the QSR markets in 2008, even though sales grew 6.9% between 2006 and 2008 to $1.37 billion last year. In terms of market share Carl's Jr. is ranked number eight after sibling Hardee's.

Carl's has highest concentration of restaurants in Southern California.

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