Industry News | November 14, 2000

Political Uncertainty Focus of New Pizza Hut Spot

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A new commercial for The Insider(TM) pizza from Pizza Hut taps into the current controversy over the outcome of the presidential election and the uncertainty currently underway in Florida.

The new 30-second commercial debuted Thursday night on network television programming. The ad is the latest in a series of Pizza Hut television spots reflecting the company's slightly irreverent spirit and reputation for tying into topical, political and world events through its popular products.

Set in the future, the commercial opens with an announcer recalling this historic moment and uncertainty over who won the 2000 presidential election. "Someday, you can tell your grandkids you were there when Florida decided the next President—Bush, no Gore, no Bush, no Gore,'' states the announcer.

The humorous ad ends with a grandfather answering his grandkid's question about who ultimately won the election? "Who knows ... they're still counting votes ... but what I remember is that I was eating The Insider pizza from Pizza Hut.''

"Given all the uncertainty in this election we believe Americans have cast one unified vote and it's for The Insider pizza—a pizza inside a pizza,'' said Randy Gier, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. "We're not taking ourselves seriously—after all, we're about pizza not politics,'' Gier added.

On Election Day, Pizza Hut ran a print advertisement as part of The Insider launch with a predictive headline message, "Pizza Inside a Pizza Will Inspire Political Unity,'' playing on the fact that The Insider has cheese packed between two crusts.

Pizza Hut has run other television ads and marketing campaigns capitalizing on current topics. In 1999, as part of the launch of The Big New Yorker Pizza, Pizza Hut crafted a tongue-in-cheek advertisement depicting a "Hillary-esque actress actor saying ''New York, I want to be your next senator." Then, earlier this year, in an effort to garner worldwide publicity for the company's new logo and physical revitalization of its restaurants, Pizza Hut was the first company to put its 40-foot logo on the Proton rocket destined for the International Space Station.

According to Gier, Pizza Hut has always tried to show people it is innovative, slightly irreverent and just simply likes to have fun. "When we started our marketing efforts for The Insider(TM) pizza, we certainly had no idea that two days later one ad would still be so topical and on target.''

The newest menu star at Pizza Hut, The Insider pizza features an "ooey, gooey'' six-cheese blend between two delicious thin crusts and covered with tangy sauce, more cheese and a choice of toppings. The launch of The Insider pizza is the biggest for Pizza Hut since the January 1999 introduction of The Big New Yorker Pizza.