It's not clear until 28 seconds into a new 42-second commercial that it's an ad for the fast-food company’s new all-natural burger. The spot focuses on a buxom woman eating a hamburger and drawing stares -- and people are already talking, but not so much about the grass-fed beef.
One person tweeted, "Just saw a preview of Carl's Jr. commercial for Super Bowl. Now I need a cigarette."
Carl's Jr.'s ad play is no surprise to industry experts, who say the brand is catering to a male audience.
While some question if viewers are losing their appetite for raunchy during the big game, Granatstein says it’s a “win-win.”
"They get more clicks on YouTube, they get more social media. It's a win-win for them. I don't think they care one way or the other what women think about these ads,” Granatstein said.
While many have called foul on other Super Bowl ads for being too sexy, last year the trend seemed to lean toward the clever or cute, such as an ad showing Budweiser's popular Clydesdale horse making friends with a puppy.
"A lot of advertisers have backed away from sexy, raunchy advertisements," Granatstein said.
As for Carl’s Jr., it seems it is sticking to the original recipe of more buns than burger.
The regional ad will not air nationally on Super Bowl Sunday, but will be seen mostly in Western states (plus, online and in social media feeds).
“Do these ads work for selling burgers? Possibly, but what it really does is put Carl's Jr. on the map and make them a nationally known brand,” Granatstein said.
A representative from the parent company of Carl's Jr. told ABC News the ads don’t show anything you wouldn't see at the beach and that they don't cross the line, but they like to get right up to it.