Industry News | April 19, 2001

Pizza Hut Commercial Features Unlikely Pair

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What combination is a more unique pairing than breadsticks and pizza? According to Pizza Hut®, it is Carmen Electra and Marie Osmond. The pizza restaurant company selected this unlikely duo to star in its new television commercial for Twisted Crust pizza, the biggest product launch for Pizza Hut in 2001. The new spot features Electra and Osmond debating the ongoing Twisted Crust pizza question: which to eat first, the pizza or the breadsticks?

The 30-second spot begins airing on Monday, April 23 on national and cable networks during primetime. The Electra/Osmond spot is one facet of the $70 million marketing campaign Pizza Hut has prepared for the continued launch of Twisted Crust pizza.

On March 26, Pizza Hut unveiled the Twisted Crust pizza. The new Twisted Crust pizza boasts a revolutionary breadstick crust that surrounds a piping hot Pizza Hut pizza. The seasoned crust is a flavorful, detachable breadstick that adds fun to eating Twisted Crust pizza.

"Pizza Hut chose Carmen and Marie because they are an unlikely and unexpected combination, much like our Twisted Crust pizza,'' said Randy Gier, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. "In its first few weeks of availability, our new Twisted Crust pizza has already helped us achieve record sales levels. We are confident our newest combination—Carmen and Marie—also will score high with consumers.''

The Great Debate

The spot opens with Carmen Electra and Marie Osmond in the waiting area of a casting studio expressing mutual surprise about being up for the same part, again. While they are waiting, a Twisted Crust pizza is delivered. The duo debate whether Twisted Crust pizza is pizza or breadsticks, while using the pizza's characteristics to take personal jabs at each other.

"Given our different styles, Carmen and I don't have too many opportunities to work together. Pizza Hut was attracted to our differences and thought we would be a great duo to promote Twisted Crust pizza,'' said Marie Osmond.

"I had a great time shooting this commercial for Pizza Hut. Marie and I worked well together, and I certainly didn't mind eating all that Twisted Crust pizza!'' said Carmen Electra.

New York-based BBDO developed the ad spots. Members of the creative team include: Charlie Miesmer, vice chairman, senior executive creative director; Wil Boudreau, senior vice president, creative director; and Rick Midler, senior vice president, creative director.

Pizza Hut also is making the Twisted Crust pizza spot available online through its Pizza Hut Lounge. Site visitors can log onto www.pizzahut.com to download the celebrity spot.