Industry News | October 30, 2009

Pizza Hut Blasts Off With New Online Tool

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As a means to delivering deals to customers—and as an attempt to stay at the forefront of new social media—Pizza Hut announced that it teamed with the upstart Blastoff Network.

“Pizza Hut, especially PizzaHut.com, has had a long tradition of trying to provide maximum value to our consumers,” says Bernard Acoca, senior director of digital marketing at Pizza Hut. “What we really look to do is partner with new, dynamic, emerging online partners that can provide maximum value to our customers.”

Dallas-based Blastoff Network is an aggregate Web site that lets users pull together their favorite online content—including social media pages, online video, news widgets, and more—into one Web interface. The same interface lets users shop online with participating retailers, who offer discounted deals on products.

Blastoff also allows customers to earn money by linking to retailers’ Blastoff pages, making purchases, and inviting friends to join the network and spend money.

“We found the Blastoff Network to be a very compelling company to do a partnership with because of the tremendous value that they provide to consumers during their online shopping experience,” Acoca says, “especially during this critical economic time where consumers are looking to save a maximum amount of dollars.”

Pizza Hut, also based in Dallas, is one of more than 400 retail companies that have already teamed with Blastoff to provide deals for customers.

Aaron Mathews, Blastoff’s director of marketing and social media, says the company will announce several new retailer partnerships in the coming weeks, and suggests the quick-serve industry might get on board with the tool early on.

“If they want to reach out to this market and be proactive in the social media space, then I would think [Blastoff would be good for quick serves],” Mathews says. “If you remember when Facebook launched, big brands like Starbucks were really kind of hesitant on getting into that space initially. They didn’t understand it.

“I think now, big brands like Pizza Hut that have wished they jumped on different things at the forefront, they’re more in tune to what’s going on in this environment, and so when they see something, they want to be known as the first adopter of that space.”

Blastoff Network officially launched to the public on October 27.

By Sam Oches