CARPENTERIA, Calif., May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Beginning today, online visitors to the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Web sites will be able to explore and interact on the Web in 3D. CKE Restaurants, Inc., parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurant chains, has partnered with Web pioneers, ExitReality, to offer the new technology, which allows users to experience traditional, 2-dimensional Web sites as 3-dimensional spaces. Users with the ExitReality browser enhancement can even convert their profile pages on social network platforms, such as MySpace, into 3D environments and move around in them as photo-realistic "avatars," which are human figures with many possible movement options. Visiting "friends" using ExitReality will also appear as avatars for a more real-world type of interaction online, complete with the ability to make one's avatar gesture, laugh and talk in text form.
Users will be able to download and try the pre-release version of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's 3D experience by visiting http://www.carlsjr.com, http://www.hardees.com, the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fan profile pages on MySpace, or http://www.exitreality.com.
"We've always tried to stay on the cutting-edge when it comes to the development of our new burgers and advertising, so it made sense for us to associate ourselves with cutting-edge technologies in the digital world as well," said Brad Haley, executive vice president of marketing at Carl's Jr. and Hardees. "Our brands cater to young, hungry guys and gals in the real world and this cool new software from ExitReality will allow them to experience the Web in a way they've never been able to before, so we were thrilled to be able to help present that to them."
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's were the first brand partners of UK-based ExitReality, who has since signed on with the social network platform MySpace to unveil ExitReality and the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's 3D experience. ExitReality's technology instantly turns any social network page or Web site into an inhabitable 3D environment. With today's launch ExitReality becomes the world's largest 3D virtual world with more than 300 million 3D places. What's more, the software and everything the user experiences is absolutely free.
For the initial launch, each MySpace member gets a 3D apartment that automatically includes their music, friends, comments and videos, and can be decorated in limitless ways. Using 3D avatars, a user can don a logoed jacket, meet friends at the Carl's Jr. or Hardee's virtual restaurant or invite friends over to the burger-themed social-network living room. There, they can ride a mechanical bull, like the one in the famous Western Bacon Cheeseburger ad, play the entertaining Burger Slayer game, as well as pick up 3D widgets such as TVs, arcade game machines, furniture, and even 3D living room or restaurant layouts to decorate their own pages.
Burger lovers can take free Carl's Jr. or Hardee's goods back to their virtual living room, including burgers, fries and shakes, or a branded "Time to Eat" clock that sounds an alarm when it's lunchtime. Even the mechanical bull can take up residence at their MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, Friendster, Orkut or HI5 profile page in 3D.
Any visitors to a burger lover's decorated profile page can see the free virtual goods or 3D widgets and grab a copy to put in their own profile page in 3D, which will spread Carl's Jr. and Hardee's burgers into social network 3D places across the Internet.
ExitReality CEO Dean Jones is excited about the partnership. "It shows brands can have strong presence and distribution in the new 3D social Internet, without having to draw users to a single destination. ExitReality creates the 3D Web out of the existing 2D one. CKE was one of the first to realize that this will be the virtual world's platform of choice to reach the maximum Internet audience."
Initiative Innovations, the group within CKE's media buying and planning agency Initiative is tasked with bringing clients new advertising opportunities, strategic marketing concepts, and creative ideas. The group first identified the ExitReality partnership as a viable opportunity for the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's brands, and the restaurants immediately jumped at the chance to be part of the launch.
The Carl's Jr. and Hardee's sites will feature even more 3D interactivity, as well as an updated look, when the brands' Web sites are re-launched later this summer.
Carl's Jr. and Hardee's are wholly-owned subsidiaries of CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:CKR) of Carpinteria, Calif. As of its fiscal fourth quarter ending Jan. 28, 2008, CKE Restaurants had a total of 3,067 franchised, licensed or company-operated restaurants in 42 states and in 13 countries, including 1,141 Carl's Jr. restaurants and 1,926 Hardee's restaurants. For more information, or to find a location near you, go to http://www.ckr.com or http://www.carlsjr.com or http://www.hardees.com.
ExitReality is an exciting new social media platform that aims to improve your online experience with an enhanced 3D, multi-user, immersive messaging environment. It works with all major social network sites, be it to simply visit your own profile in 3D and have one or more of your friends over for a chat, or to visit a friend's profile on another social network site and watch a video with them. ExitReality works with leading, global social media sites MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Facebook, Hi5 and Orkut. To experience the 3D social Internet today, go to http://www.exitreality.com
Source: CKE Restaurants, Inc.