Opinion Brief

Will real men eat turkey burgers?

Carl's Jr. and Hardee's hire Miss Turkey, in a bikini, to convince men that there's nothing unmanly about wanting a (relatively) low-calorie burger

The video: Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are going where no major burger chain has gone before: They are introducing a new line of under-500-calorie turkey burgers. This marks a sharp departure from the restaurants' usual fare — they're perhaps best known for their 1,400-calorie Monster Burger. So Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are airing a commercial designed to convince their main customers, 18- to 34-year-old men, that eating diet-friendly fare is hot. In the ad, a bikini-clad Miss Turkey (get it?), suggestively savors a bite of turkey burger, and seductively saunters past a swimming pool filled with men. (See the commercial below.) "To help you remember our delicious, charbroiled turkey burger, we hired Miss Turkey," an announcer says. "To help you remember Miss Turkey, we put her in a bikini." Will young men eat it up?
The reaction: Hey, "scandalous ads" have worked for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's before, says Sue Stock at the Raleigh, N.C., News & Observer. Remember the commercials in which Paris Hilton lustily devoured their hamburgers? Pure marketing gold. Maybe, but it doesn't take much to sell a guy on a burger, says Kim Conte at The Stir. And "I'm not so sure a bikini ad is going to be enough to convert them from beef to turkey — at least not the men I know." Here's the ad — are you sold, gentlemen?

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