Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s say goodbye to old ad – via NFT

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Carl's Jr. NFT

A fast-food hamburger chain is featuring images from a 2015 advertising campaign in its first-ever non-fungible token (NFT) offering.

CKE Restaurants banners Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are partnering with actress and supermodel Charlotte Mckinney for an NFT promotion featuring one of Mckinney's “All-Natural Burger” bite shots from a 2015 advertising campaign. NFTs are unique digital assets stored on a blockchain ledger that certifies the owner. There is no way for an NFT to have more than one owner, and only the certified owner can sell it.

In recent months, NFTs have experienced a dramatic surge in popularity. Pizza chain Domino’s resurrected its own former “Noid” advertising campaign in a recent series of NFTs, and eBay and Shopify both now permit their purchase and sale.

The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s NFT was created by female artist Grace Casas, and is being auctioned off on the OpenSea platform. The NFT release, in partnership with Mckinney, is intended to signal the brands' final goodbye to a more risqué advertising past as they continue to focus on new menu items. All net proceeds from the NFT sale will go toward the nonprofit Simon Foundation for Continence.  

"Charlotte Mckinney is an integral part of one of our most storied advertising moments, and is now stepping into the crypto-culture," said Patty Trevino, senior VP of brand marketing at CKE Restaurants. "Working with her to auction off our first NFT is the ultimate way to turn the page and move forward from campaigns of our past, while still maintaining our provocative style of doing things."

With both a U.S. and international footprint and owned by CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., Carl's Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee's Restaurants LLC have over 3,900 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 42 foreign countries and U.S. territories.