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Posts Tagged ‘Pizza Hut’

11 Brands That Got Cheeky on Valentine’s Day

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FACT: Valentine’s Day is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dour New Year for retailers.

Of course it makes sense for relevant brands to develop tailored VDay social campaigns, so today we thought we’d take a look back at some of the cheekier ones we noticed last week.

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Pizza Hut Joins OKCupid to Find ‘The One’

OkCupid | PizzaHutIf you were considering using an online compatibility service to help you find a date for Valentine’s Day, but are nervous you’ll end up with a dud, we have some good news for you; there’s at least one profile on OKCupid offering a companion that never disappoints–pizza!

Pizza Hut, in an aptly-timed effort to respond to the 10,000 social-media proposals it has apparently received from fans in 22 countries and every state except South Dakota over the past year (WTH, South Dakota?), has created a proposal-themed promotion via its very own account on OKCupid.

The brand’s “Self-Summary” reads as follows:

“Every day, fans tweet marriage proposals at @pizzahut. We’re flattered, and we’re into it.

But in our 55 years waiting for The One, we’d always pictured the big moment to be a little more… Great.

So we’re ready to find that someone to be involved in the Greatest Proposal Ever. We’re looking for someone who brings outrageous enthusiasm to the everyday moments; the one with a zany sense of adventure and a rad personality.

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Royal Baby PR: The Good, The Bad, The Money To Be Made

Hooray everyone! We have a new prince! Release the publicists!

With #RoyalBaby trending for most of the day on Twitter (along with some reference to Buckingham Palace, the Royal family, or David Cameron), it’s only fitting that marketers raced to social media to try and tap into the excitement with some sort of play on the big news.

Out in front as they were for the Super Bowl was Oreo with a cookies-and-milk joke. Cute. OK, we’ll take that because that’s what they do. Also, and making perfect sense, Pampers had a sweet clip about how every baby is special to their mom and dad. Check it out after the jump.

Then there’s the desperate madness that happened. Hostess did something weird with a man cradling a Twinkie in a blanket that fell as flat as their big re-launch day. MAC smeared some lip gloss. Lululemon… I don’t know. And Starbucks (UK) slapped some crowns on coffee cups. Really, I can’t. Buzzfeed has a round up if you need more. But really, you don’t.

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New App Allows Gamers to Order Pizza Via Xbox

Rejoice, ye college kids (and grown-ups who still spend their weekends in an ever-expanding pile of beer cans and pizza boxes while playing Halo)! You no longer need to suffer through the painstaking effort of pausing your game, dropping the controller, and picking up the phone to order dinner – Pizza Hut and Xbox Live have heard your cries of desperation and are here to help.

In what can only be called the most diabolical dietary partnership since Eric Cartman’s pairing of Hot Pockets and World of Warcraft, Pizza Hut has made their full menu—including customizable pizzas—available through a new Xbox Live app, which allows Xbox 360 owners to place orders using the controller, voice commands, or the Kinect sensor. In order to streamline the pizza’s progress from delectable idea to tangible belt-loosening poundage, users can even connect their PizzaHut.com and Xbox accounts to simplify the ordering process.

Larry Hyrb, Microsoft’s Director of Programming for Xbox Live, said of the pairing:

“We’re always looking at ways to give our audience more of what they’re interested in. If you look at our audience, they love pizza. I mean, who doesn’t? It has international appeal, and Pizza Hut is a recognized brand that matches up well with the Xbox brand.”

Now there’s a man who knows his audience.

So now, if you can just program your robot vacuum to answer the door for you, you may never need to leave your living room again!

Want to Manage Social Media for Pizza Hut? Tell Them Why in 140 Seconds!

In what seems to be a combination PR stunt/staffing experiment, Pizza Hut announced that it will be choosing someone to fill its currently empty Social Media Manager of Greatness role (what, no ninjas?) at the upcoming South by Southwest Festival in a very…unconventional way.

In honor of the 140-character Twitter feed that the lucky winner will run, company reps will give applicants 140 seconds to perform what amounts to a personal “elevator pitch”, explaining exactly why they’re qualified to manage a brand with 166,000 followers and more than 10 million Facebook fans.

The chain’s PR director hopes to meet “the best and the brightest” among the thousands of media fanatics attending the festival. In explaining his team’s thinking, he says: “The time you have to tell a story, engage a customer or leave a lasting impression on someone socially has shrunk to seconds”–so he wants someone who can make his or her case in just over two minutes with nothing more than a smartphone and an acceptable ID.

Of course, hopefuls can apply for the position in more traditional ways as well, but who’d want to do that? Here’s the job description, redirected from the URL “BecauseImGreat” in case you missed the point.

So is anyone up for the challenge this Sunday at the Austin Hilton? And will there be perfume?

Bribes, Blockades and Blackmail: Inside China’s ‘Black PR’ Industry

Bo XilaiWe all know that public relations can get a little…insane at times. Bad behavior, lawsuits, internal leaks…we’ve got it all, right? Sure we do–but when it comes to crazy we can’t even compete with China. A “shocking expose” first reported by the People’s Republic’s Caixin magazine and translated by the Tech in Asia blog reveals a seedy PR underworld in which firms earn millions every year on the strength of bribery and blackmail–all committed in the name of media relations and reputation management.

The primary players in this sordid saga are two firms called Yage Times and XinXun Media. What did these firms do, exactly? They specialized in getting negative news stories about clients removed from prominent websites–but it all goes much deeper than that.

Not only would these companies bribe site runners to delete “unflattering” posts–they also paid their friends in IT to have related search terms blocked on Baidu, the Chinese equivalent of Google. Imagine entering “Beyoncé lip sync” or “Burger King horse meat” into your browser and coming up with a big fat nothing and you’ll get the general idea.

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The 18 Best, Worst and Weirdest Valentine’s Day PR Stunts

Happy Valentine’s Day! February 14th happens to be the world’s greatest manufactured consumerist holiday—a time for marketing and PR departments everywhere to either bring their “A” games or admit defeat, stay home and watch Golden Girls reruns while crying into their ice cream.

You’d think that Valentine’s Day promos would only apply to certain classes of products, but quite a few savvy professionals have figured out how to make the day theirs in alternately creative and cringe-worthy ways. In honor of the holiday, we browsed the trusty Internet to find some of the most unusual romantic PR stunts.

What do we think? Has anyone seen any campaigns good (or bad) enough to match these?

Adventures in Marketing: Pizza Hut, the Fragrance

Pizza Hut perfume Today in Necessary Things News: When we hear the words “Pizza” and “Hut” together, perfume is NOT the first, second or third thing that comes to mind. Yet the deep-dish pie chain’s Canadian marketing agency has a sense of humor, so they thought it might be fun to ask their Canuck Facebook fans about names for a theoretical pizza perfume. It was a great idea for a post, but when the company’s internal marketing department heard about it, they loved it enough to take it a step further.

That’s right, Pizza Hut Canada hired a aromachologist (word of the day alert!) to celebrate its 100,000th Facebook fan by brewing 110 bottles of “Eau de Pizza Hut” that smell like “freshly baked, hand-tossed dough” for a few dozen lucky cheese-and-red-sauce fanatics up north.

Will the average shopper find this perfume at the pharmacy or salon anytime soon? Of course not—but this stunt won the company a bit of free coverage in otherwise respectable publications like The Washington Post and CafeMom, whose bloggers came up with a list of ten other apparently ridiculous scents they’d like to sample. Examples include coffee, fried chicken, Kentucky bourbon and pad thai–which tells us that these ladies have incredible taste.

We call this a PR win. As the wise Mel Brooks told us so many years ago, it’s all about “Merchandising: where the real money is made.”

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Does PR Have a Creativity Problem?

Our friends at the excellent Spin Sucks blog asked a pointed question earlier this week:

“Will a lack of creativity be the demise of the PR industry?”

Given the fact that our business continues to grow while so many others struggle, we see the “demise” aspect of this headline as a rhetorical glimpse into the distant future. But it’s very interesting. Stated another way: Are PR and marketing professionals so scared of offending someone, anyone that they avoid all things colorful, interesting and remotely creative? And will dull, run-of-the-mill PR efforts grow so common as to negate the value of the service itself? Most companies can write their own press releases, right?

The post primarily concerned Pizza Hut’s recent PR controversy. To recap: The company offered a lifetime’s supply of pizza to anyone who would use last week’s “town hall” debate to ask the presidential candidates whether they prefer sausage or pepperoni. Quite a few feathers got ruffled, and Pizza Hut’s marketing reps quickly backed down, announcing that the campaign would move online as part of a “natural progression.”

Yet Forbes contributor Aaron Perlut called the campaign “brilliant” and claimed that its demise in the face of public outrage was a perfect example of the PR industry’s biggest flaw:

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Pizza Hut Hopes One Dubious PR Stunt Will Fix Another

In the world of public relations, there is a costly difference between mistakes and stupidity. Mistakes are an inevitable part of life; stupidity really requires some effort.

Most acts of stupidity in public relations stem from a decisive disregard for the public on some important level, be it underestimating our intelligence, our patience or our values. When brands succumb to denial or deception, the public knows. We can feel it, because the public has “gut feelings” just like any individual. Deep down, we know when someone is lying to us, cheating on us or condescending to us. Alarms go off.

After a tone deaf, misguided and dismayingly inappropriate attempt to sells pizzas by encouraging attendees at the presidential debate to ask the candidates if they preferred pepperoni or sausage pie, Pizza Hut has prudently implemented a change in strategy. Instead of interrupting democracy in action, Pizza Hut has decided to shift the contest online and randomly select a winner willing to simply offer his/her email address and zip code. The prize–a pizza a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600–remains unchanged. Read more

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