Couple Uses Paris Hilton-Inspired Carl's Jr. Parody to Overcome Tragic Loss

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Apr. 29 2024, Published 6:12 a.m. ET

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Becoming parents is a highlight in many people’s lives. For some, it is the ultimate goal—a chance to begin a future wherein two people can usher in the next generation. For Jason Shafton (40) and Alyssa Fox (31), the anticipation of being parents to new twins was something they had dreamed of. However, when tragedy struck the young couple, and they went home without their twins, many hopes and dreams disappeared along with them.

Except for one.

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Having planned a photo shoot in anticipation of their newborns’ arrival, Alyssa and Jason had ordered several things in advance. This even included a new vehicle to fit their family’s growing size. But when the twins didn’t survive the labor process, the couple canceled the larger vehicle and ordered two new separate vehicles, one being a Porsche. When they became pregnant again three months later, they were excited about the prospects of the future.

“One night I was like, hey, we should do the maternity shoot for this baby in front of the Porsche,” Alyssa said.

She then thought of a 2005 ad for Carl’s Junior, in which Paris Hilton, in high heels and a sleek bathing suit, was eating a cheeseburger while washing her car. This idea, which might have seemed silly to some, spurred Alyssa and Jason on a project that would provide them with something memorable to help them heal.

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Alyssa, a former actor who is now a senior product manager of data collection at the Walt Disney Company, was interested in finding humor in the absurdity of life’s challenges. “We wanted to turn something traumatic into something fun," Alyssa said. "It was a way to reclaim a sense of joy amidst the sorrow."

Alyssa’s husband, Jason Shafton, boasts a background in marketing and creativity as the founder and CEO of Winston Francois. Together, the two assembled a talented team, including their director Boni and cinematographer Adam, to capture the essence of the original Paris Hilton commercial while infusing it with their unique story and perspective.

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The resulting video was a heartwarming, but humorous portrayal of parenthood. Set on the backdrop of a Carl’s Jr.-esque setting, Alyssa, clad in heels and an Ergo baby carrier, embraced the role of the expecting mother with not just grace, but humor, while Jason played the supportive partner by adding his comedic flair to the production. The video, which features brilliant comedic timing, is a shining example of how heartbreak can turn into something incredible.

Throughout the filming process, the couple said they found healing and connection as they cherished the opportunity to celebrate their resilience and love amidst adversity. “It was cathartic," Jason remarked. "Creating something together allowed us to find joy in the midst of sorrow."


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