‘Karl’s Jr.’ Welcomes Karl Malone to Lakers

LOS ANGELES Mendelsohn/Zien takes Carl’s Jr. to the hoop in a 10-second spot celebrating the Los Angeles Lakers acquisition of Karl Malone.

With a simple display of the fast-food chain’s smiling-star logo, a voiceover announces, “Carl’s Jr. would like to extend a special welcome to the L.A. Lakers Karl Malone,” at which point a super comes up under the Laker-gold star, reading “Karl’s Jr.” The sound of a bouncing basketball concludes the spot.

The local spot, which breaks this weekend and runs throughout November, will air on Fox Sports’ telecasts of Laker games. Print ads will appear in local newspapers’ sports pages and Laker programs.

“You can’t always advertise hamburgers in today’s advertising world,” said Jordin Mendelsohn, co-managing partner and creative director of the Los Angeles agency. “We were trying to express the personality of the brand with this piece of creativity that just came about. Misspelling the name of the chain is a little brazen, much like the player himself.”

Mendelsohn said the creative is “only unique in that agencies don’t stay abreast of events in every city. We try to take advantage of ideas that come along at the last minute. In fact, we’re thinking of a Carl’s Jr. spot that would tie in to the local grocery strike.”

Mendelsohn said he’s not worried about offending fans of the city’s other National Basketball Association team: “If you’re a Clippers fan, you’re probably not eating at Carl’s, but probably eating those skinny little burgers at McDonald’s.”