This Hardee's campaign proves that AI has its limitations

Campaign from Dubai agency And Us was created using DALL-E

Published On
Jan 11, 2023

Editor's Pick

So far in 2023, the most dominant creative trend to emerge is advertisers experimenting with AI -- whether it's to write scripts (as with Mint Mobile and Ryan Reynolds) or generate images (Martini), although brands aren't expected to be brave enough to use it at the Super Bowl. 

An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with pretzel filling inside

However, not everyone is convinced; a new campaign from Hardee's running in the Middle East sets out to show what AI can't do. That is, create an accurate image of its Super Star burger. The brand's agency, And us, asked AI software system DALL-E to imagine what the burger might look like. It came back with some attempts that were, according to the agency, "wacky," "weird," "surreal or "completely wild."

An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with a cheese star on top of the bun and RHHARDERSS spelled out in cheese inside


The agency gave it further prompts, including the recipe, and DALL-E made over 10,000 attempts in total. And although the agency acknowledges that some of them were "amazing, near misses, beautiful images," not one was 100% correct. Those efforts are replicated in a video that was posted to Hardee's social channels, encouraging people to try the real burger while not worrying that "AI is coming for you" (art directors, take heed.) 


An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with blue marble coloring on the stars inside it

“The campaign rides on the hot topic of the hour, for people in the region and around the world," said Hussein Kandil, Hardee’s regional marketing director MENA, in a statement. "This is a message everyone needs to hear right now—that it’s OK, take a breath, ‘AI isn’t coming for you just yet’. And if we can make this much needed message with the help of a delicious Hardee’s Super Star burger, then all the better.”


An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with a golden star on top and golden ornate detail all over the bun


“We acted fast to bring a tongue-in-cheek message of hope in the moment people needed it the most, heading into a new year, with the spectre of AI hanging over us all," added Jamie Kennaway, executive creative director at And Us. "It was the perfect time to show not what it can do, but what it can’t. Each image AI generated therefore became an eye-catching reminder (and proof) that AI isn’t quite there yet.”

An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with three large cheesy stars inside


An animated Hardee's Super Star Burger with a large cheesy star on top of the bun and two chicken wings beside the burger


Photo of a Hardee's Super Star burger with #unAimaginable underneath it



Jan 11, 2023
Client :
Regional Marketing Director :
Hussein Kandil
Senior Marketing Manager :
Justin Hunter
Agency :
And Us
Chief Creative Officer :
Fadi Yaish
Executive Creative Director :
Jamie Kennaway
Executive Technology Director :
Diogo Borges
Brand Director :
Lama Halimeh
Associate Creative Director :
Gabriel Cavalheiro
Associate Creative Director :
Rob Hall
Senior Art Director :
Vini Zumpano
Senior Art Director :
Gustavo Cavalheiro
Post Production :
Head of Production :
Serra Chehade

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