Little Caesars Gets Nostalgic for PR Comeback

During uncertain economic times consumers seek solace in many forms, including comfort food—especially pizza. After a 15-year hiatus, Little Caesars is launching a nationwide PR campaign that offers both. The brand is reviving the popular “Pizza! Pizza!” tagline and the Little Caesar character, who fondly resembles some combination of Super Mario and a big toe. What better personality to bring “fun” back to pizza.

The PR strategy for Little Caesars capitalizes on a brand asset the competition can’t easily replicate: a quirky 1990’s nostalgia. Though today Little Caesars ranks fourth behind Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and Papa John’s, the rebirth of its “Pizza! Pizza!” campaign aims to resonate with consumers who remember a time when people ate pizza because it was pizza and not because they were broke.

Prolonged economic malaise has curtailed the spending habits of budget-conscious consumers, and the pizza industry has exploited this trend by pitching pizza as a cheap, convenient way to feed the family. An endless blitz of pizza commercials promises more pizza for less money; but, as pizza brands continue to battle each other on price points, Little Caesars—which is promoting a large pepperoni pizza for $5 and a large three-meat pizza for $8—is also using humor to draw in customers.

The PR campaign, launched this week by BFG 9000, touts a humorous sensibility across all of its channels from digital and radio to print and the above TV commercial featuring Terry “UniGeezer” Petersen. So far, according to these comments on Youtube, the commercial is at the very least provocative:

“This commercial makes me happy…GOOD JOB!!!!” – MrOShun

“This commercial needs to die in a fire” – thepokekid01

Gerry Graf, founder and chief creative officer at BFG 9000, explains the concept in this article in AdvertisingAge: “It seems like everyone got really serious about pizza all of a sudden, talking about artisanal pizzas and apologizing for the way their pizza was made… But if you take a step back and look at pizza, it’s fun.’”