Presidential Debate: Sausage vs. Pepperoni… YES!

Presidential Debate: Sausage vs. Pepperoni… YES!

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog so why not quickly throw out some ideas why Pizza Hut’s PR campaign of Sausage vs Pepperoni question for the presidential debate tonight is already a huge victory. You can find lots of articles on the web with the backstory. Long story short if someone asks on the presidential debate tonight, “Sausage or Pepperoni” then Pizza Hut will give that person pizza for life.

Good Marketing is Controversial

There is no better way to get people’s attention than through something controversial maybe even polarizing. There are a lot of people upset about that Pizza Hut would even attempt to inject itself into the debate.

  • “It just seems like a thoughtless grab for a little bit of attention.”
  • “Why muck up a serious debate with silly questions?”

If we want to give a recent comparison for this we have to look no farther than the Chick-fil-a stand on homosexuals. Yes I just went there. For the personal record I disagree with Chick-fil-A. They have a right to voice their opinion but I personally believe nobody has the right to devalue anyone for who they are. It doesn’t get much more polarizing than what Chick-fil-A did and they saw record crowds lining up to eat their chicken! To a lesser extent this is no different and in fact more effective because you aren’t potentially alienating your brand from a segment of the population for life.

Look this whole election is pretty darn polarized as it is. Would a little fun injected into a debate hurt anyone? We all want to see our president’s and candidates as real people right? What better light-hearted way to humanize them than learning what their tastes in pizza are?

Risk Vs. Reward

So the prize, pizza for life, is dealt out to a pie a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 to the winner. The whole campaign was run online so it was much cheaper than a traditional television campaign. The news coverage alone that this has received is worth millions of dollars in prime time TV slots. So if someone does ask the question, the Pizza Hut is only out another $15,000. That’s a pretty freaking good deal if you ask me! I’d take that marketing risk ANY day of the week if I were a nationally known brand! You can say that there is permanent brand damage being done, but do you really think we’re going to remember this six months from now? Definitely won’t remember it four years? What about if nobody asks the question? This will be long and forgotten before we know it. I think this leads directly into my next point.

It Doesn’t Matter If Someone Asks the Question At This Point

Look the point of good marketing is to get people talking about it. The fact this little “debate” has been all over the news and the web the last few days is proof enough that the PR campaign is already a success! We care more as a nation about Pizza Hut’s PR campaign than the actual facts of what will be debated tonight! Look I’m writing about it right here and even linking to their Pizza Party website. That is inbound marketing in its most powerful form! It’s a genius campaign that is already a winner!

So what do you think? Great PR stunt/campaign or a bloody nose on Pizza Hut? Leave a comment below.

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