By Barry Janoff
December 17, 2013: Following in the footsteps of Carl’s Jr. spokespersons such as Kate Upton, Paris Hilton, Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian and Katherine Webb, former NFL star Terrell Owens will appear in a humorous national campaign for the fast-feeder and its sibling, Hardee’s.
Owens will be revisiting his NFL toots in Philadelphia, where he played for the Eagles for two seasons, touting Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger, which Carl's Jr. and Hardee's call their "tribute to, and twist on, Philadelphia’s classic cheesesteak sandwich."
Owens, who has not played in an NFL game since 2011 but has not officially retired, is regarded as one of the league's all-time top receivers. However, his 15-season career included numerous controversies and enigmatic incidents, including run-ins/misunderstandings with teammates, coaches and the media.
The campaign will be anchored by a TV spot, "Philly Love," which is scheduled to debut Dec. 30. Support will include Internet and social medial destinations such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
A teaser shown recently on omg! Insider showed Owens lounging poolside along with several young women clad only in bikinis. Lead agency is 72andSunny, Los Angeles.
According to Carl's Jr., "The humorous new spot will follow Owens down memory lane as he lightheartedly reflects on his hot-and-cold relationship with the City of Brotherly Love."
According to Owens, “I really liked the idea for the ad on this one. It was a great way to tie into my career and it was fun to try my hand at acting.”
The Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger was last featured on the Carl’s Jr. menu in 2010 and at Hardee’s in 2008, but is being brought back "by popular demand."
Carl's Jr. is currently touting "Great Buns" via a double-entendre campaign is which men and women look at shapely young women from behind and exclaim, "Great buns!" The catch is that each of the young women is holding a sandwich made with Carl's Jr. "fresh baked buns."
The spots with Upton, Kardashian, Webb and others generally showed the women wearing bikinis or lingerie and getting all hot and bothered while eating food items from Carl's Jr.
“We pioneered the idea of putting great American sandwiches on a burger – or using ‘meat as a condiment’ as Jay Leno riffed about the practice on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – and the Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger has been our most popular creation,” Brad Haley, CMO for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, said in a statement. “This time around, the Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger is better than ever because we serve it on our new Fresh Baked Buns.
“And, who better to help us promote the best-ever Philly Cheesesteak Thickburger than former Philadelphia pro wide receiver Terrell Owens?" said Haley. "Terrell had sort of a love-hate relationship with Philly fans and we make the most of that in the humorous ad campaign for the burger. I think the world will see that he has pretty good acting chops and doesn’t mind poking fun at himself.”
Owens played in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers (1995-2003). Philadelphia Eagles (2004-05), Dallas Cowboys (2006-08), and a season each with the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals before spending several weeks with the Seattle Seahawks in 2012 on their practice squad before being released.
The six-time Pro Bowl has 1,078 receptions, 153 touchdown catches and 15,934 yards receiving, and was named to the NFL's 2000's All-Decade Team.
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