Pizza Hut kicks off election-inspired campaign

PLANO, TX: Pizza Hut has launched a campaign linked to the presidential election by asking fans to join The Pizza Party, a movement it hopes everyone can agree on.

PLANO, TX: Pizza Hut has launched a campaign linked to the presidential election by asking fans to join The Pizza Party, a movement it hopes everyone can agree on.

With Election Day just five weeks away and October being National Pizza Month, the Yum! Brands subsidiary launched the initiative in an effort to reach its consumers with content linked to a topical subject, said Doug Terfehr, director of PR at Pizza Hut.

“When we look for opportunities to activate PR, we really look at the calendar and what's sticking out as something we think people are paying attention to and how we can attach ourselves to it in a fun and engaging way, so that was our approach in coming up with this idea,” explained Terfehr, who joined the company in August.

The Pizza Party, as well as its Big Dinner Box candidate, is encouraging fans to join its party on the PizzaHut.com/PizzaParty, which was created by TracyLocke, by offering a free order of Stuffed Pizza Rollers to anyone who enrolls.

Terfehr said the Big Dinner Box is the “perfect candidate” because it has “choices for everyone inside,” such as two pizzas, breadsticks, and a side. It also “respects the economy” because it offers everything for $19.99, while buying everything separately would be about $27, he added.

In addition to offering choices, Pizza Hut is allowing the public to choose the running mate for the Big Dinner Box on the Pizza Party site.

“Unlike all the other candidates and parties in history, we're going to allow America to select their vice president,” said Terfehr.

To kick off the event, Pizza Hut is hosting an event at its headquarters in Plano, Texas on Monday morning with its employees, as well as comedian and Big Dinner Box campaign manager Scott Morehead. Engaging its team members and getting them excited about the initiative is a “key strategy” for the brand, he added.

Pizza Hut has also been working closely with its PR AOR for the last six years, Zeno Group, on promoting the initiative, which will run through Election Day on November 6.

“[Zeno has] been a big part of the strategy and development of the campaign, all the way down to the execution, key messages, and media outreach,” Terfehr said.

Some of the key media and blog sectors Zeno and Pizza Hut have been targeting include marketing, food, and politics.

Social media is another driver behind the Pizza Party campaign, with videos and updates being posted on the microsite. The brand is also actively updating its Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages, said Terfehr. Pizza Hut has about 132,000 followers on Twitter and more than 8.3 million fans on Facebook.

Since it is “tough to find any demographic that doesn't enjoy pizza and 93% of Americans have it at least once a month,” Pizza Hut is targeting its general consumers between ages 18 to 49 for the campaign, said Terfehr.

“Election night and election season throughout the debates are big nights for pizza,” he explained. “People are watching the results or listening to the hour-and-a-half debates and pizza is a good food that goes with that, so we hope to be top of mind when they're making their dinner decisions.”

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