Carl's Jr. and Hardee's to Get a Twitch Sourced Menu Item

Originally Posted On
Ad Age

A series of livestreams will decide the limited-time offering -

Carl's Jr. and Hardee’s are turning Twitch into their test kitchen.

The CKE brands will be using Twitch streamers to help create a new limited-time menu item. Fans have been voting for their favorite ingredients on social media over the past few weeks. Chef Owen Klein, VP of global culinary innovation at CKE Restaurants, and streamer Briana Williams, known as Storymodebae, will take to Twitch on Aug. 22  to use those fan-favorite ingredients to collaborate and brainstorm with viewers on four possible menu items.

“The stream will be very interactive,” said Chad Crawford, chief brand officer of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. “They’ll talk about the ingredients and their variabilities.” Crawford added that the voted-for ingredients have been “interesting” but declined to share specifics.

After the first livestream, fans will be able to vote on the four menu items during weekly Twitch streams with six other streamers tapped by CKE: DaydreamDan, DataDave, Krissy, Damien Haas, Bree Bunn and Sancho West. All will have gotten to taste test the new items and will encourage their viewers to vote.

Storymodebae will announce the winning limited-time food in an interactive game during the week of Oct. 24. Viewers will have to work together in the stream’s chat to decode a series of clues that will unlock and reveal the new menu item. The winning item will be offered in select Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s locations.

This is not the first time CKE has used Twitch. Back in 2017, the brand doubled down on its promise to focus on “food, not boobs” by blowing up its previously bikini-clad image. The brand gathered relics from its advertising past, including 900 gallons of flammable tanning oil, a crate of bikinis and old cases of Jr.'s meat cologne and blew up the lot with the help of YouTubers The Slow Mo Guys, who are known for their slow-motion videos of objects blowing up or shattering.

Other brands including Jack in the Box, American Eagle and even Kellogg’s have been incorporating Twitch into their marketing strategy. The streaming platform, which is owned by Amazon, sees 31 million daily visitors on average and has become a popular channel for brands to reach Gen Z.

“We wanted to bring forth the gaming element and the creative element,” Crawford said of choosing Twitch. “The platform allows for longer-form dialogue. Twitch really has established, and was built for, that deeper relationship with viewers.”

CKE partnered with agency RPA, The Brand Amp and Twitch’s brand partnership studio for the livestreams.