Monday, March 30, 2009

Padma Lakshmi Loves Carl's Western Bacon

Supermodel and no-nonsense host of Bravo's "Top Chef," Padma Lakshmi shows her love for Carl's Jr.'s Western Bacon Cheeseburgers in new TV ads. The burger is a special love from her youth that helped her transition from vegetarian to carnivore.

"I...started wolfing down bacon Western cheeseburgers [sic] after school at Carl's Jr. The sublimely pleasurable taste of bacon...was further enhanced by its mingling with the barbecue sauce, greedily licked off as it dripped down my teenage fingers," wrote Padma in her latest cookbook, 'Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet,' published in 2007.

That revelation drew the attention of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's advertising agency, Mendelsohn|Zien, which had been tasked with creating a new television campaign for Hardee's introduction of its very own Western Bacon Thickburger. The resulting ads will begin running on March 30th in markets throughout the Midwest and Southeast and will also be shown in limited Carl's Jr. markets on the West Coast beginning March 31st.

You can watch it below, right now:

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

BK Studio: Wear Our Logo

Hey, we all know these are tough economic times. Advertising budgets might be shrinking at some of our favorite fast food chains, but Burger King has a solution. They've figured out how to get us to pay them to advertising.

Introducing Burger King Studio!

BK is selling you shirts that will help sell more of their burgers!

You can even design your own BK Studio shirt. The cost, a mere $24.

The ones they've designed for you (on the right) will set you back $16.

The titles of the ones on the right (from top to bottom are "Ultimate Whopper," "The Bubble Has Burst," and "King of Deliciousness."

Here's Burger King's take on their new 'studio':
"Burger King Studio is part art gallery, part think-tank with a dash of Mad Scientist's experiments thrown in for good measure."

"Burger King Studio is a progressive platform that inspires free-flowing creativity and provides a forum for imaginative collaboration between artists and consumers," says Cindy Syracuse, senior director, cultural marketing, Burger King Corp.
BK is even going to have boutiques (yup, shops) where you can buy their schwag. The first one has already opened at Universal CityWalk in Orlando.

And here I am doing my small part to promote their promotion and I bet I won't even get a damn t-shirt!

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Carl's Jr.'s Bourbon and Coke

Hopefully and fooled you with the title and made you think Carl's is the first fast food joint to start serving liquor... that's probably what they're going for, too!

But there's no alcohol here, it's just their Kentucky Bourbon Burger (and a Coke).

The Kentucky Bourbon Burger is a Charbroiled Black Angus Beef Patty, 2 strips of bacon, Pepperjack cheese, garlic-pepper onion straws, lettuce, tomato slices and Kentucky Bourbon Glaze (zero proof).

You can even get a dollar off with this coupon.

So you might not get a buzz, but as a bonus you'll get 100% of your daily value of Saturated Fat and Sodium, and 970 calories!  Come to think of it, you might get a buzz after all!

UPDATE: Here's an advance look at the TV spot that will start airing next week for the Kentucky Bourbon Burger (a surgeon talks about his need for a bourbon before surgery, of course it is revealed that he's talking about this new burger):

0 Proof (0.0% Alc./Vol.)... I love it!

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Dunkin' Donuts Shamrock Donut

Dunkin' Donuts has a special "Lucky Dozen Donut" coming up for you this St. Patrick's Day with green shamrocks and yellow and white sprinkles.

Maybe if you bring these to the office you won't have to wear that one article of green clothing you hate but break out every year for St. Paddy's day.

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Friday, March 06, 2009

BK Breakfast Shots and Burger Shots AGAIN!

Have you seen the ads for Burger Kings Breakfast Shots and Burger Shots? Did you know they've tried the mini-burger concept before? Well, they did... back in 1987. Video proof from a 1987 TV ad is below.

BK announced their mini breakfast sandwiches and burgers last month.

Like the 'sliders' of White Castle fame, BK's Burger Shots are tiny flame-broiled burgers topped with mustard, ketchup and two pickles between a bun without sesame seeds and are available in a two-pack ($1.39) or a six-pack ($4.09).

BK Breakfast Shots feature the choice of ham, bacon or a sausage patty with an egg, a smoky cheese sauce and melted American cheese served on a bun. BK They're available in a two-pack ($1.49) or a four-pack (2.89).

You can read a review and see real-world photos of the Breakfast Shots at Hamburger Calculus.

Here's your nutritional info for the 2-packs of both:

And now for the video proof that this is BK's second attempt at this concept:

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Jack's Back With New Logo

The Jack in the Box ad campaign that started during the Super Bowl with Jack being hit by a bus has now resulted in a new Jack in the Box logo being unveiled (and Jack being released from the hospital).
The new logo prominently features the name "Jack" in script lettering above a simpler, low-key "in the Box," with the swooping tail of the "k" in "Jack" mimicking the large, red smile of the chain's icon.
Here's the new logo:

Another redesign will be coming on February 16, when there will be a new website. This is really a long time coming. While most of the other fast food restaurants have taken their websites to the next level with interactive features, Jack's website has started to look a little stale. (By the way, another exception to these improvements is McDonald's; their website is still pretty basic, too.)

Terri Graham, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Jack in the Box Inc says, “We’re committed to re-energizing our brand through a comprehensive restaurant re-image program, the introduction of an updated logo, and continued menu innovation that will provide our guests exciting new products they can order anytime day or night. Jack in the Box is one of the only major QSR chains that offer its full menu all day.”

Changes will include the new logo, new website, a restaurant 're-image program,' menu innovation, and social networking.

Regarding the menu, "Later this month, Jack in the Box will launch a new product platform with the introduction of Mini Sirloin Burgers, which feature a trio of all-sirloin patties topped with American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup served on bakery-style buns reminiscent of Hawaiian sweet rolls."

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Health Mag's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food

Health Magazine's March issue features their list of the ten healthiest fast food restaurants.

Their ranking is:
  1. Panera Bread
  2. Jason's Deli
  3. Au Bon Pain
  4. Noodles and Company
  5. Corner Bakery Cafe
  6. Chipotle
  7. Atlanta Bread
  8. McDonald's (!)
  9. Einstein Bros. Bagels
  10. Taco Del Mar
Yes, we're not kidding, they put McDonald's at number 8 and Chick-fil-a and Subway didn't even make the list. Who are Health Mag's major advertisers anyway... or who are the hoping to get as advertisers!

Say what you will about Subway, but if you have half a brain you can order a very healthy meal at Subway. And Chick-fil-a goes out of their way to provide healthy options. These are just two examples, I'm sure you can think of more.

And #9 is Einstein Bros. Bagels. Bagels. Really? Come on! Healthy? I have nothing against Einstein Bros., or McDonald's for that matter, but they don't belong on a list of the healthiest fast food restaurants.

I like the quality, healthy options offered by Panera and Jason's (number 1 & 2 on their list), too, and would have put them near the top of my 'healthiest' list, but when you choose McDonald's over other obvious choices it taints the meaningfulness of your list.

Also, I would have put Chipotle closer to number 1, than their number 6, for their efforts in natural, hormone-free meats.

Now you know!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Now a 911 Call Over McNuggets

There has been another incident of a woman calling 911 to complain about her fast food (or lack thereof), this time the complaint was about McNuggets.

Latreasa Goodman (pictured) called 911 not just once, but 3 times to complain that a McDonald's employee wasn't giving her a refund for the chicken nuggets she wanted.

You can listen to all three 911 calls below.

Evidently Goodman ordered a 10-piece chicken McNugget meal and paid for it, after which she was told they were out of McNuggets and told to pick something else off the menu because they could not refund her money. That is reprehensible, on McDonald's part, but not quite a 911 emergency.

Goodman was issued a written notice to appear in court for misusing 911.

Carlos Solorzano, operations manager for all McDonald's restaurants in Florida, issued a statement Tuesday apologizing for the incident.

"Satisfying each and every customer that visits our restaurants is very important to us," Solorzano said. "Regarding this isolated incident, we apologize for the inconvenience caused. In the event that we are unable to fill an order, a customer should be offered the choice of a full refund or alternative menu items. We regret that in this instance, that wasn't the case.

"We want to correct our mistake. We will be sending the customer her refund, along with an invitation to return for her original order, on us. We never want to disappoint a McNuggets fan or any McDonald's customer. Customer satisfaction is our top priority."

McNugget 911 call #1:

McNugget 911 call #2:

McNugget 911 call #3: