Carl’s Jr. Tie-in Garners Good Publicity

Ian P. Murphy |

LAUREL, Md. — The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) reports members are experiencing positive response from its “Messiest Menu Items” promotional tie-in with Carl’s Jr. restaurants.
Launched to promote the reintroduction of Chili Cheese Burgers and Chili Cheese Fries, the promotion tells Carl’s Jr. patrons not to worry about the stains these foods might produce — just let a professional DLI member cleaner take care of them.
The campaign launched in late February during the Academy Awards broadcast in most Carl’s Jr.’s markets. “Messy and delicious — a ‘win–win’ for chili lovers and drycleaners everywhere,” says a TV spot from noted West Coast advertising agency Weber Shandwick.
An accompanying release tells consumers that if they get chili stains on a T-shirt or jeans, wash them. “But for that great silk tie or fine linen blouse, get it into the hands of your DLI drycleaner right away for the TLC it’s going to need.”
Posters and cling decals appearing in plants and more than 1,200 Carl’s Jr. fast-food outlets offer the DLI stamp of approval: “We Support The Carl’s Jr. Chili Cheese Burger And Fries. See Us After You Indulge.”
The agency sent “Chili Cheese Burger & Fries — A Celebration of Messy Goodness” decals to DLI members throughout the Western U.S. “See us after you indulge! Your Drycleaning & Laundry Institute member.”
A cover letter accompanying the decal authorizes DLI members to give away coupons for free Chili Cheese Burgers and Chili Cheese Fries at no cost. Some members also received two free rolls of poly bags imprinted with the drippy delicacies and “See Your DLI Member.”
Consumers in targeted areas will be looking for DLI decals, the association says. DLI requests feedback from members who see the Carl’s Jr. ads or are participating with window clings, poly bags and counter cards.
With drycleaning plants and Carl’s Jr. outlets often occupying similar strip locations, new customers may be steps away, DLI says. In Anchorage, Alaska, for example, Randy Earp’s One-Hour Fireweed Drycleaners is located across the street from a Carl’s Jr.
While Earp hasn’t yet tracked sales growth resulting from chili stains, he called the promo’s positive spin “cute and creative,” DLI says.

About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.


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