Hardee's® Celebrates Turning the Big 5-0 with a Party for its Fans

In September 2010, Hardee's strapped on its party hat, broke out the gifts and started checking its Facebook wall. The iconic brand was turning 50 and rather than buying a sports car or picking up a perky new girlfriend, Hardee's rewarded its customers with deals in restaurants and a call to get fans involved through a variety of social media channels, including Facebook giveaways worth a total of $50,000 through The Wheel of Awesome™ and daily giveaways of $50 Hardee's gift cards to Twitter followers.

50th Birthday Celebration Included:
  • $50,000 giveaway on The Wheel of Awesome on Hardee's Facebook page (total of five $10,000 winners)
  • $50 Gift Cards awarded daily on Hardee's Twitter feed
  • Happy Birthday video on Hardee's YouTube channel featuring messages from politicians, sports figures, franchisees, partners, bloggers and friends of the brand.; fans invited to submit their own response!
  • Retro Hardee's photos on Flickr and Facebook
  • Fans invited to share stories, photos and videos of favorite Hardee's memories via social media
  • September 30, 2010: Made from Scratch Sausage Biscuits for just 50 cents

From hippie jingle crooners, to revved-up race cars, to squeaky-clean spokesmodels and unforgettable celebrity endorsements, Hardee's iconic marketing campaigns have been as much a part of the brand as the food. And with the 50th Anniversary campaign, Hardee's shared the nostalgia across the web while asking fans to also weave their own stories and memories into the entertaining, historic tapestry.

To inspire fan nostalgia, Hardee's YouTube channel featured a happy birthday video with snippets of Hardee's history, as well as birthday messages from politicians such as St Louis Mayor Francis Slay, sports figures including Albert Pujols, and other franchisees, partners, bloggers and friends of the brand. Hardee's fans were encouraged to submit their own videos in response, and selected favorites were featured in a special tab dedicated to the 50th birthday for the entire month of September.

The video was also featured on the Hardee's Facebook fan page, along with other retro photos, including images of people, restaurants, premiums and promotions associated with Hardee's over the last 50 years. Additionally, nostalgia fans could visit the retrospective photo collection or subscribe to the open community group on the brand's Flickr site to share vintage Hardee's memories of their own.

Throughout the month, Hardee's also engaged with fans on Facebook and Twitter through polls and trivia.

Facebook fans could spin The Wheel of Awesome which was loaded with fabulous prizes from electronics and sports equipment to food coupons and more. Five very lucky fans, one for each decade, were selected to win $10,000 each, for a total prize giveaway of $50,000. Each fan got a free first spin. Then, for every friend that fan got to "like" Hardee's, he/she got an extra spin and more chances to win.

On Twitter, Hardee's followers had the chance to win $50 gift cards for correctly answering trivia questions, posting birthday messages or pictures, becoming a mayor of Hardee's on Foursquare, or writing a winning burger haiku. Fans were encouraged to look for the #Hardees50 hashtag in the brand's Twitter stream for more details.

Additionally, die-hard followers (both Twitter and Facebook) had the opportunity to add a Hardee's commemorative Birthday Twibbon to their profile pictures.

And finally, to satisfy fans' appetites for amazing food, Hardee's offered its famous Made from Scratch™ Sausage Biscuits for just 50 cents on September 30. (Selling more than 300 million biscuits a year, Hardee's is beloved for its biscuit-centric breakfast, which accounts for nearly half of overall sales, one of the highest in the industry).


The response from fans and engagement level with the Hardee's brand was unequivocally the company's most successful social media campaign to date.

Facebook results:
  • 115,431 new fans
  • 170,282 page views
  • 115,431 page interactions
  • Ranked #7 as "Most Explosive Facebook Fan Pages" during the third week of September
  • Over 280 fan submitted photos and birthday cards -- a new page record
  • Record engagement with several posts recording over 500 likes/comments
  • A record breaking 63,000+ spins on "The Wheel of Awesome"; $50,000 given to five lucky winners
Twitter results:
  • #Hardees50 mentioned in 1,813 Tweets
  • @Hardee's followers spiked 21% from 3.69K to 4.45K by September 30
  • 24 $50 gift cards given away
  • 54 Twibbons downloaded
YouTube/Flickr results:
  • Two 50th anniversary videos received a total of 5,744 views
  • 34 videos uploaded to YouTube by fans wishing Hardee's a Happy 50th; total of 6,158 views
  • Grand total of anniversary-related video media consumption on YouTube totaled 9,631 views
  • 997 photo views on Flickr

ExactTarget's CoTweet enterprise social media management platform played key role in the Twitter portion of the contest, with all of the questions being pre-loaded into the platform for posting at designated times. CoTweet was also used to monitor and gather the responses of users with correct answers. The solution also helped Hardee's identify potential influencers or advocates out of the correct answer pool by looking at demographic and geographic insights, as well as Klout scores.


$50K giveaway

$50 gift cards

Die-hard fans add to profile pages: Twitter, Facebook

50th Anniversary video
Customer response videos

Fan birthday messages (105 photos, 30 videos, 135 views)
Wheel of Awesome winners (25 photos, 41 views)
Hardee's pictorial retrospective (325 photos, 31 videos, 1,410 views)


Celebrating over 50 years in the quick-service industry, Hardee's Food Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of CKE Restaurants, Inc. of Carpinteria, Calif. As of the end of its first quarter of fiscal 2010, CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, had a total of 3,182 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 20 countries, including 1,262 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,909 Hardee's restaurants. For more information, or to find a Hardee's near you, go to www.ckr.com or www.hardees.com.

Albert Pujols

Hardee's Video