And I think it’s a great idea. I mean not as a perfume, obviously, but as a Social Media/Internet marketing gambit.
Let’s start off by acknowledging that Pizza Hut pizza is gross and you should never put it in your mouth. It’s a bland, doughy, greasy nightmare. And it smells almost as bad as it tastes.
So why would you want to smell like greasy pepperoni?
Well you wouldn’t; it’s a joke perpetrated by Grip, Pizza Hut Canada’s social media marketing firm on the company’s Facebook page. In September, the company posted an update asking fans “if the smell of a Pizza Hut pizza box being opened were a perfume, what would that perfume be called?” The response was so enthusiastic the firm took the idea to Pizza Hut’s marketing department and suggested they actually make it happen.
Now 100 lucky Canadians will be receiving their bottles of “Eau de Pizza Hut,” by Xmas.
The reason this is great marketing is because it shows a big brand not taking itself too seriously (Papa John call your office), and thereby demonstrating that they understand a bit about Internet culture, which – even on Facebook – is driven by users in all their weird, quirky glory. They just created instant goodwill, a true rarity on the Internet.
It also shows the power of some more old fashioned marketing tactics: understanding your audience and creating scarcity.
By producing only 110 bottles of the stuff, Pizza Hut is tacitly acknowledging the granular, niche-sized market who’ll respond to a joke like this, while at the same time creating scarcity by widely publicizing it. These things are going to be insta-kitsch collectibles almost immediately.
On the PR tip, they likely got thousands of free mentions across the Web, and raised their brand value by being seen as having a light marketing touch, a sense of humor, and an understanding of how to leverage the social Web to enhance their brand equity.
But the pizza’s still gross.
Jumping the Snark
Check out the uber-cheesy “quotes,” in the press release from Beverley D’Cruz, Pizza Hut Canada’s Marketing and Product Development Director.
What better way to celebrate our Facebook fans than by providing them with a way to enjoy the fresh smell of Pizza Hut pizza whenever they want!
For now, we’ve only produced 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut, but who knows what the future has in store. The good news is people can enjoy the great smell of fresh Pizza Hut pizza any day of the week by ordering one of our signature crust pizzas.