Carl’s Jr. renamed its charbroiled sliders “Spielburgers” and released a series of short videos that pay tribute to the films of director Steven Spielberg.
Quick service restaurant Carl’s Jr. released a series of videos on Monday that parody some of Steven Spielberg’s most iconic films by inserting hamburgers into them. Five tribute videos have been timed with the Monday release of Ready Player One and although “Spielburgers” are not official promotions for the film—nor an official partnership with Spielberg—Carl’s Jr. says they “assume [Spielberg is] cool with it.”
Update: Spielberg isn’t “cool with it.” He issued a video statement Tuesday asking them to cease and desist.
— Amblin Entertainment (@AmblinEnt) March 27, 2018
Jurassic Park, Jaws, ET: The Extraterrestrial and Close Encounters of the Third Kind are presented with a burger T-Rex, a burger attacking a swimmer, a burger replaces ET in a basket and a giant burger spaceship. There is even a preview for Ready Player One that reveals a burger wearing a VR headset.
In honor of Steven Spielberg’s #ReadyPlayerOne, we’re changing the name of our Charbroiled Sliders to #SpielBurgers. Spielberg hasn’t signed off yet, but we assume he’s cool with it. pic.twitter.com/bdpRH0s8fo
— Carl's Jr. (@CarlsJr) March 26, 2018
Over the past year, Carl’s Jr. has transitioned from sexualized ads to adopting a tongue-in-cheek persona online. The brand continues a trend of quick-service restaurants that make light of marketing on social media. Carl’s Jr. joins brands like Wendy’s and KFC which have adopted similar strategies to win over young consumers.
Lol nah I just started this account in my mom’s basement and everyone at Carl’s Jr. has been super chill about it https://t.co/yUTmDKrAnl
— Carl’s Jr. (@CarlsJr) February 22, 2018
Earlier this month, Carl’s Jr. hosted “The Thickies” to coincide with the 90th Academy Awards and promote the restaurant’s Thickburger. Fans could enter to win in categories like Best Selfie, Best Carl and Best DM.
The brand has also experimented with live advertising that offered real-time consumer interaction. In 2016, Carl’s Jr. partnered with Vice’s new site Waypoint and Twich to stream live ads during a 72-hour gaming marathon.
Hamburgers are the most popular quick service option in the US, according to Grand View Research. According to estimates, the US fast food and quick service restaurants market will be worth $263.8 billion by 2025.