Steven Spielberg has Ready Player One officially out in theaters today and Carl's Jr. tried to get in on the marketing fun by renaming their new charbroiled sliders to "SpielBurgers." The legendary director caught wind of the fast food chain's publicity stunt and quickly shut it down after admitting that the sliders tasted "pretty good." Though Carl's Jr. never officially renamed their product, they're pretty happy that they got some kind of reaction out of Steven Spielberg with a semi-endorsement.
Carl's Jr. posted a bunch of spoof videos on Twitter advertising the name change of their sliders to the "SpielBurgers" to help promote Ready Player One and their new product. The videos each take on some of the director's most famous work, from E.T. to Jurassic Park. The fast food chain even decided to take their guerilla campaign to the next level when they had some of the "SpielBurgers" delivered to Amblin Entertainment yesterday, which prompted Steven Spielberg to record a response video and post it to Twitter.
The fast food chain tweeted over the weekend about the name change in honor of Ready Player One and noted that Steven Spielberg hadn't signed off, but that they "assume that he's cool with it." In addition to the burgers, an employee even left a letter on an Amblin executive's car. After Carl's Jr. delivered the "SpielBurgers" to Amblin, the director announced a cease and desist to the fast food chain after sort of complimenting the taste of their creations. Spielberg had this to say.
"It has recently come to my attention that Carl's Jr. wants to rename their charbroiled sliders SpielBurgers and they're pretty good, but I'm passing. Cease and desist. You can't do it - sorry, guys."
The publicity stunt worked out perfectly for Carl's Jr. They knew that Steven Spielberg would never sign off on the deal, but if they got any response from him, it would be well worth it. Not only did Spielberg respond, he recorded a video that stated that "SpielBurgers" were pretty good, resulting in free promotion for the fast food chain and Ready Player One. Obviously, Carl's Jr. is pretty happy with the outcome that they orchestrated. Though the note on the executive's car was a tad bit creepy.
As for official partnerships, Ready Player One teamed up with the extremely popular HQ Trivia app for a record breaking prize of $250,000. The trivia game will take place tonight, March 28th at 6:30 PM Pacific and 9:30 PM Eastern, to celebrate the release of the movie. As for Steven Spielberg actually eating Carl's Jr., that has to be a bit of a white lie. One cannot imagine one of the most legendary directors of all time eating that type of fast food, even though our president mows down McDonald's more than once a week. You can check out the brilliant marketing plan to promote fast food and Ready Player One below, courtesy of the Carl's Jr. Twitter account.
Last night was wild! Saw Spielberg on the red carpet and we think he was super excited about our SpielBurgers! Now we’re about to head over to @AmblinEnt to seal the deal. We’re coming Steven! #SpielBurgers#ReadyPlayerOnepic.twitter.com/1HYBGAUpzA— Carl's Jr. (@CarlsJr) March 27, 2018
ICYMI: As a tribute to the best director ever, we’re changing the name of our Charbroiled Sliders to #SpielBurgers! @StevenSpielberg saw em’ and he’s PUMPED. Headed to Amblin in a few to seal the deal! pic.twitter.com/SexHPzgul9— Carl's Jr. (@CarlsJr) March 27, 2018