Pizza Hut gives customers a taste of what it's like to be VP

After a third-party taste test showed that Pizza Hut pan pizza beat its competitors two to one, the company launched a new brand position in January declaring it "America's favorite pizza."

After a third-party taste test showed that Pizza Hut pan pizza beat its competitors two to one, the company launched a new brand position in January declaring it "America's favorite pizza."

The company wants to emphasize this status while getting customers more engaged with the brand by capitalizing on the appeal of social networking sites and user-generated content.

Idea: Chris Fuller, associate PR manager at Pizza Hut, said he began to notice that positive consumer feedback was languishing in his office. "How do you bring this to life for the customer?" he asked. "We know that YouTube and MySpace are growing in popularity, and we want to be relevant where [consumers] are." In April, the America's Favorite Pizza Fan Contest will crown one winner the honorary VP of Pizza. The winner will receive a $25,000 salary, a "company car" that will be used on a three-month tour, and free pizza for a year. Entries are submitted on YouTube, and visitors to the Pizza Hut Web site will vote on a winner.

Tools: Outreach to consumer media will play a large role. The contest has already been covered in outlets like CNBC and USA Today. Pizza Hut will also rely on media and interactive teams to build awareness. In addition, it has placed banner ads on YouTube and CareerBuilder, a site that has been a staffing resource, which it believes will be a fun place to announce its "VP" position.

Measurement: Pizza Hut will track entries and page views on its Web sites, as well as consumer media hits.

Organization:  Pizza Hut
Campaign:  America's Favorite Pizza Fan Contest
PR team:  In-house and Zeno Group (Atlanta and Chicago)
Other marketing:  Online advertising (imc2 and Mediaedge:cia)
Launch:  February 21
Budget:  Undisclosed

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