Pizza Hut Plans Pre-Game Push

DALLAS Jessica Simpson and the Muppets will appear in a Super Bowl pre-game commercial for Pizza Hut as part of a $50 million campaign for a new product called Cheesy Bites Pizza, the client said.

Created by Pizza Hut lead agency BBDO in New York, the pre-Super Bowl commercial presents Muppets character Miss Piggy wearing the same outfit as singer Simpson. Other spots promoting the new product began running Sunday.

The campaign includes a promotional offer of a one-topping pizza with 28 cheese-filled, bite-size pieces replacing the traditional crust for $11.99, the company said.

The new type of pizza is considered a natural tie-in with the annual Super Bowl broadcast because the pieces of cheese-filled crust qualify as finger food, the company said. As in previous years, Pizza Hut will advertise only within the Feb. 5 pre-game show, when orders are traditionally heaviest.

“We know most consumers make their food decisions before kick-off on Super Bowl Sunday, although half-time and TV timeouts are popular order times as well,” a company spokeswoman said. “We’re expecting to prepare almost two million pizzas during the hours leading up to and during the big game, with nearly 50 percent of deliveries and carry-outs occurring in the two hours prior to and the first hour after kick-off.”

Pizza Hut, based in Addison, Texas, is part of Yum! Brands.