We Hear: Deutsch Defending the Pizza Hut Account

By Patrick Coffee Comment

The Los Angeles offices of Deutsch won lead creative duties on Pizza Hut back in July 2014, replacing mcgarrybowen as the authentic Italian chain’s agency of choice in the U.S. after less than a year. This decision came a few months before the Hut picked Ogilvy to lead its ad efforts in the U.K.

At the time, a spokesperson said, “The Pizza Hut business is evolving” … and now we hear from multiple sources that the client has grown impatient yet again in requiring Deutsch to re-pitch the business.

We all know this is standard practice for certain clients. DDB, for example, successfully defended its State Farm account in a “re-pitch” that started late last year.

After Deutsch won the rebranding assignment nearly two years ago, it launched a campaign in which some legitimate Italians(!) expressed how much they dislike American pizza so the client could highlight all of its new flavors like sriracha, et cetera.

The client has, of course, continued to run ads, many of which focus on recent products like a pie ringed with stuffed garlic knots and its golden variety, which was part of a Trump-worthy Super Bowl contest.

The most recent work that we got pitched was the David Robinson/Dick Vitale flashback spot from nearly a year ago.

It’s not clear at the moment whether any other agencies are involved in this review. Spokespeople for Deutsch, Pizza Hut and the chain’s parent company Yum Brands have not yet responded to our requests for comment.

But as the client said back in 2014, “change is never easy no matter when it happens, but sometimes it’s necessary. This great brand deserves to have everything working as hard as it can for us and we feel our go forward plan is the best one for Pizza Hut.” And as U.S. News reports, the chain has been losing market share to its chief competitor Domino’s over the past two years.

UPDATE: the golden flakes spot above was not created by Deutsch. It was by Irving, Texas indie shop The Infinite Agency, which also worked on last year’s “pizza beer” project.