The tongue-in-cheek marketing campaign offers up "big ideas" on what an Amazon-Carl's Jr. partnership might look like.

Mike Pomranz
October 09, 2017

One of the year's biggest food stories—one of the biggest stories in the entire business world actually—was Amazon's buyout of Whole Foods. Whether the acquisition will bolster both brands is yet to be seen but for fast food chain Carl's Jr, the benefits of getting bought by the massive online retailer… or at least the promotional benefits of asking for a buyout… are abundantly clear.

In another unique campaign from a company that knows a thing or two about taking its own approach to marketing, Carl's Jr. has turned to Twitter to—with tongue firmly in cheek—beg Amazon for a buyout. The California-based burger chain began planting the seed of this new marketing move last night with a tweet subtly nodding to its respect for Amazon. "Got a new drone in the mail for the office from @Amazon earlier today," the tweet stated, "they're so cool. They even deliver on Sundays!" A few tweets later, the promotional tie-in was planted: "WAITAMINUTE… @Amazon has boxes... Our new $5 All-Star Value Meals come in boxes …" And from there, it was off to the races.

But as any comedian will tell you, a joke takes more than a good set up; you also need a solid punchline. So at midnight, the burger brand explained where all of this was headed: Every hour on the hour, Carl's Jr. has been tweeting "big ideas" on why Amazon and Carl's Jr. would make for a killer combo. So far these funny musings have included everything from a "Self-driving Restaurant" to a chicken tender Dash button to a "Prime Thru" fast food-like drive-through window. Someone definitely had its social media team working overtime.

Of course, for most major companies, being a buyout target isn't considered a good thing, but Jeff Jenkins, chief marketing officer for Carl's Jr., explained why the brand took this approach. "This pitch to Amazon allows us to remain true to our roots, while talking about our food, and having a bit of fun along the way," he said. Alright, sure… but what if Amazon says yes??