Leap Shoots Star for Hardee’s

A cheeky star grudgingly shares the spotlight with sizzling food shots in The Leap Partnership’s first campaign for Hardee’s restaurants, which broke in 10 small and midsized markets during the Super Bowl.
The “star” is just that –a costumed rendition of the star logo that Hardee’s has adapted from sister chain Carl’s Jr. as part of its plan to move over the next three years to a “Star Hardee’s” concept. Both chains are owned by CKE Restaurants in Anaheim, Calif.
Given a smart aleck’s voice by comedian Norm McDonald, the star struggles for attention in six spots that follow his career from an introduction to a stiff board of directors to “stardom” and on to near tragedy when, in a Michael Jacksonlike moment, his costume catches fire during a shoot hyping charbroiling.
Hardee’s, aiming to bounce back from a protracted sales slump, is looking to attract younger patrons. Leap’s six spots highlight the chain’s “Superstar” burger, charbroiling cooking system and “Made From Scratch” biscuit breakfasts.
In a spot for breakfast that exemplifies the campaign’s attitude, the star is seen dancing with a lithe blonde in a chic club. He invites her to breakfast at Hardee’s, asking if he should “call you or just nudge you.”
Leap’s idea for Hardee’s won it the creative portion of the company’s $55 million account in October, just eight months after losing to New York agency Angotti, Thomas, Hedge in a review. Angotti’s campaign employed the tagline “Go all out” but fell short in the eyes of Hardee’s executives.
Hardee’s has said it plans to spend up to $100 million this year. Media is handled by Western International Media, Los Angeles.
The Super Bowl introduction will be used to get a read on the campaign before a wider rollout through the year, said Sharon Hamilton, a Hardee’s representative.