There was a time when Pizza Hut was famous for deep-dish pies and a waiting list to be seated. Unfortunately, that was a long time ago. This week, the restaurant chain hauled a piping hot rebranding effort from the oven. It’s bubbling with the stuff you'd expect from a fiftysomething chain trying to attract twentysomething customers—new toppings, new sauces, new crusts and a new logo that’s ditched the red roof in favor of an actual pizza. The spruce-ups, marketing vp Jared Drinkwater told us, are "the biggest changes in the 56-year history of our brand."
But the spiciest addition has to be the new ad campaign. In essence, Pizza Hut is trying to get Americans to like its pizza by going to southern Italy and showing how much native pizza makers don’t like it. Created by Deutsch LA, the ads portray a cluster of crochety old villagers scowling at all of Pizza Hut’s new offerings.
Why? That’s a little hard to say. It’s true that many young people automatically like what their elders do not. And according to the team behind the videos, tension is the only way to keep consumers’ attention. Still, at a time when “authentic” this and “artisanal” that are all the rage—even in fast food—Pizza Hut is taking a gamble.
Time will tell how this pie comes out. But some respect is due here. Pizza Hut introduced stuffed-crust pizza in 1995, and that’s made the world—old and new—a better place for everyone.
Social Media Profile (as of 11/19/14)
Facebook Likes: 15.8 Million
Twitter Followers: 1.05 Million
Instagram Followers: 96,395
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) November 19, 2014
Pizza Hut's got a large fan base on its social profiles and they've been smartly building anticipation of the new flavors' release. The brand's Facebook is certainly the social feed to follow, as the loyal fanbase certainly has a lot to say about the changes.
Pizza Hut has several new spots like the one above. While there's a woman who looks remarkably like the human version of Grumpy Cat, wasn't there a more logical way to show tension?
- The 56-year-old brand was founded by two brothers, Dan and Frank Carney, in Wichita, Kan. Now part of Yum Brands, Pizza Hut has over 13,300 locations globally.
- Pizza Hut was the first brand to deliver pizza in space.
- The brand's first commercial aired in 1965.
- In 1995, Pizza Hut introduced Stuffed Crust pizza.