Pizza Hut Sends $227 Million Creative Account to GSD&M

The brand parted ways with incumbent Droga5 in March

After parting ways with Droga5, Pizza Hut selected GSD&M as its agency of record. GSD&M

Pizza Hut selected GSD&M as its creative agency of record, following a review launched in March that saw the brand part ways with incumbent Droga5.

The brand informed GSD&M of its decision today when its marketing team showed up at the agency’s Austin headquarters in a bus filled with pizza and champagne. Celebrating with the Pizza Hut marketing team in the agency’s lobby, they unfurled a sign reading, “We’re more than just a great agency; we’re Pizza Hut’s new agency.”

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Pizza Hut and bring the beloved brand’s boldness to the forefront. With heart and passion, we have come to know this iconic brand inside and out,” GSD&M president Marianne Malina said in a statement. “Along the way we’ve found great chemistry, a combination of incredible talent and the shared desire to have fun and win as we help write the future for Pizza Hut.”

“Wow! The level of excitement and energy running through our entire company right now is exactly why we know that partnering with GSD&M is the right decision, at the right time for Pizza Hut,” added Pizza Hut chief brand officer Marianne Radley. “They truly get us in every way. From the insights, to the creative, to the chemistry … it just clicked! This is a huge moment in time for Pizza Hut as we fight to take back the pizza category and deliver the best pizza experience for our customers.”

Droga5 won creative duties for Pizza Hut back in May of 2016, making it the brand’s fifth agency of record in six years at the time. The agency’s work for the brand included a comedic campaign starring Kristin Wiig and NCAA basketball campaigns centered around pizza-ordering Pie Tops sneakers that proved popular enough to return for a second consecutive year.

The March review was preceded by Pizza Hut’s promotion of vice president of brand marketing and consumer insights Zipporah Allen to chief marketing officer in January. In Canada, Pizza Hut parent company Yum! Brands concluded a media review yesterday by selecting WPP’s Wavemaker as its media agency of record in the country.

The assignment marks the latest in a recent series of account wins for GSD&M. Jerky brand Jack Link’s selected GSD&M as its new agency of record in April, ending a 13-year relationship with Carmichael Lynch. A month prior, the agency retained the retained the U.S. Air Force account, with a $747 million contract set to expire in September 2027.

Pizza Hut spent $226.9 million on measured marketing in the U.S. last year, down from $237.1 million in 2016, according to a Kantar Media.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.