Checkers, Rally’s Given ‘Toon Up

Vroom! Go, Holly, go!
A superheroine, steering her souped-up ’70s’ sports car across a colorful comic book landscape like Speed Racer, is the driving force in a new animated campaign from Crispin Porter & Bogusky for Checkers Drive-In Restaurants.
The ads, illustrated by Peter Chung of MTV’s Aeon Flux, mimic that program’s “Japanimation” cartoon style. Aimed at the frequent fast-food crowd (men, 18-24), the $15 million campaign seeks to rebrand Checkers and sister burger joint Rally’s, distancing them from larger rivals like McDonald’s and Burger King.
“A lot of the things we were doing were just knock-off copies of the big boys,” said the Miami agency’s president, Jeff Hicks. “We decided to do something they can’t follow, carve out some territory that’s our own.”
In the first of what Hicks said may be a dozen executions, Holly is speeding along a two-lane blacktop, the gas gauge moving toward E. But it’s not the car that is low on gas; Holly herself needs re-charging. Without stopping, she zips through a Checkers, grabs a burger and wolfs it down. The gauge then reads full.
“High performance. Human fuel,” reads the tagline, beneath the car’s speedometer.
“Twenty percent of Americans make up 70 percent of fast-food [eaters],” said Hicks. “There are people that don’t like [Holly], but they’re outside that demo. We’re going to go with reckless abandon.”