HBO Used Pizza-Delivery Drones to Promote the New Season of Silicon Valley

Activation ties into the first episode

Fooji and HBO teamed up to deliver pizza to Silicon Valley fans. Fooji and HBO
Headshot of Ann-Marie Alcántara

Free food, especially during the doldrums of a Monday afternoon, is a sure bet to capture people’s attention.

HBO made pizza dreams come true as the network teamed up with Fooji, a brand delivery agency, to send pizzas to Silicon Valley fans in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. While pizza is, for the most part, a universally loved dish, today’s pizza deliveries were a direct reference to the first episode the HBO series’ fifth season.

Spoiler alert: The lead character in the show, Richard Hendricks, ends up bankrupting a pizza delivery app called Sliceline.

And that’s why fans throughout the day could order a pizza by simply tweeting #Sliceline with the pizza emoji. If they were lucky, they’d receive a response ready to confirm the order and get a free pizza, in a Sliceline branded box.

Fooji brought the activation to life by partnering with EatStreet, a food delivery service and working with 90 restaurants across the three different cities. To make the drone deliveries possible, Fooji brought on Drone Dudes, but is only delivering in Los Angeles and San Francisco due to FAA regulations and safety issues around Trump Tower in New York.

In total, Fooji will deliver 714 pizzas both by a regular person and drone (only 20 pies were allowed to be delivered by drone in each city). At the time of writing, Fooji stated it already delivered 525 pizzas but expected to reach its goal of 714 by the end of the day.

“Since the early days, working with “Silicon Valley” has been something we’ve wanted to do,” said Erik Zamudio, co-founder and chief brand officer at Fooji. “It’s definitely been a more exciting one and a dream campaign.”

Zamudio also stated that with the nature of this specific promotion, it’s gotten a little “meta” with who’s participating. A lot of offices and startups are tweeting for pizza, as well as Slice, a pizza delivery app working with more than 8,000 pizzerias in the country.

HBO’s digital and social media director, Dana Flax, sees the pizza activation as another type of “Easter egg” the show loves to leave for fans.

“As soon as Sliceline popped up in the scripts, we knew fans would be talking about it and searching for it—at this point there’s an expectation that we’re going to do something cool online to allow fans deeper engagement with the show,” Flax said.

@itstheannmarie Ann-Marie Alcántara is a tech reporter for Adweek, focusing on direct-to-consumer brands and ecommerce.