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Why Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Made A Meal For “Call Of Duty: Black Ops III”

It’s the first project of agency 72andSunny’s new Brand Partnership Incubator, teaming up brands for mutual marketing benefit.

Why Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s Made A Meal For “Call Of Duty: Black Ops III”

The first official burger for Call of Duty has just been announced as the Tex Mex Bacon Thickburger from Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s. It’s part of the “Ultimate Care Package,” a Call of Duty: Black Ops III combo meal, named as a nod to the dropped aid players receive in the game.

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Launching on November 6, the combo is the crown jewel of a new partnership with Activision that marks Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s biggest promotional tie-in, and Call of Duty’s first ever in-game integration with a fast-food chain. Co.D gamers and burger enthusiasts can also win the “Take Out” in-game personalization pack that includes ketchup, mustard and extra pickles-themed weapon camo.

We’ve seen fast food combo movie tie-ins forever, but the time feels right for some of these to be targeted at the munchies-craving gamer masses. The partnership is also the first of agency 72andSunny’s new Brand Partnership Incubator, that makes teaming brands for mutual marketing benefit an official agency offering.

72andSunny is no stranger to playing matchmaker. Over the last few years it has launched joint projects with Samsung and Jay Z, KSWISS and HBO’s Eastbound & Down, as well as hooking up Google with both Target and the White House.

Agency partner and chief strategy officer Matt Jarvis says these past projects convinced the agency to make partnerships an permanent part of the creative mix. “We’ve done it enough times now to see that it creates a lot of value for our clients, and that as a company with strategic and creative capabilities, we’re well suited to put ideas on the table that can actually bring a partnership to fruition,” says Jarvis. “Most traditional ‘dealmakers’ can’t do that.”

The agency will be working with existing clients–like Activision and Carl’s Jr.–as well as uncovering opportunities with new brands. Pricing of the Brand Partnership Incubator includes a flat connection fee, and back end participation in any partnerships that go to market.

Jarvis says partnerships like this are an opportunity to pool resources to make a bigger impression on more people. “The advantage is being able to help brands enter cultural conversations outside of their category, where both parties borrow from the other to do something they couldn’t afford to do on their own with greater reach and a bigger overall impact,” he says. “As marketers, the fiercest competition we face is for people’s attention. The right partnership can get an audience to lean forward and engage in ways that a single-brand effort does not. It has to be authentic and enhancing to both parties, but that’s a strategic and creative challenge that we relish.”

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The challenge is to find where the two brands’ interests meet. “This takes an understanding of both parties, their quirks, goals and aspirations,” says Jarvis. “As a company, finding this intersection is something we have a passion for and a long track record of success.”

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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