Hardees Ad Steaming Up TVs & Tempers

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover girl Kate Upton is in a new Hardee’s commercial.  The spot is called, “The Drive-In” and shows the model stripping and posing as she eats a Southwest Patty Melt while watching a movie.

Some are saying that the ad is too hot for TV.  The controversy erupted when the ad aired in prime time before American Idol.  Many parents were shocked as their children watched the risque ad.

Statement From Hardees:

Our pop-culture approach to our advertising allows us to communicate the core message of our premium quality food and our brands’ cultural relevance to our target audience of Young Hungry Guys. We don’t aim to exclude or offend any other groups with our efforts, rather to appeal and amuse a very specific audience. Each time we have created one of these iconic, memorable ads, our brands remain relevant to our core customers and it brings awareness to the newest generation of young, hungry guys. Our ads get millions of impressions, well beyond the traditional commercial ad buys for TV.

The picture of Kate Upton in her barely-there bikini on the cover of Sports Illustrated was shown more than 600 times on TV shows/news programs in the first two days after the release of the issue, and was broadcast on national and local stations in 111 US media markets (including St. Louis). Kate is wearing far less on the cover of Sports Illustrated than in our ad.

See for yourself and leave your comment below.