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Little Caesars cooks up “stuffed people” to attract Gen Zers on TikTok

Little Caesars' new "stuffed people" are urging consumers to try new Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Crust pizza

The pizza chain whose signature “Pizza, pizza” tagline is permanently embedded in the brains of Americans everywhere has today unveiled a new, slightly bizarre ad campaign featuring “stuffed people.” These life-sized dolls, made to resemble top TikTok creators, are featured in films promoting the restaurant’s new Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Crust pizza.

Who wants to sit on a Zoom call or do chores now that the sun is out and lockdown is lifting? No one. That’s why Little Caesars has created its new “stuffed people.” The life-sized dolls, stuffed with nine feet of felt pepperoni and cheese, have been filmed completing boring day-to-day tasks so their real-life counterparts can do the things they love — like eating pizza. One fan will also be receiving their very own “stuffed person.”

This is all part of the new Little Caesars “Extra Stuffed” campaign, which promotes its limited-edition Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Crust pizza. The challenger brand marketing effort aims to “reinvigorate interest in the product and drive buzz to maintain momentum throughout the limited time offer window,” says Jeff Klein, the company’s chief marketer. “From a cultural standpoint, we recognized that many areas of the country are finally starting to emerge from the constrictions of the pandemic, and consumers want to make up for what they missed last year. This campaign really speaks to that idea while directly bringing the product to life with our trademark sense of humor.”

In partnership with McKinney, the brand created a number of dolls for the project, including a few based on the likeness of top TikTok creators including Adam Waheed, Spencer X, The McFarlands and Brooke Averick (Lady Efron). Beginning Monday, these influencers will be producing original content for TikTok featuring their stuffed doppelgangers.

In two hero films made for TikTok, a stuffed doll sporting a tee shirt reading, “Let’s get stuffed” delivers a monologue about the delightful stuffed crust experience. “Take it from me, a stuffed person,” he says in one of the ads. “Little Caesars Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Crust pizza is the best stuffed pizza to stuff yourself with.”

"This campaign is 'stuffed' with the best kind of unexpected weirdness that leans into the quirky and fun humor Little Caesars customers have come to expect from the brand,” says Jonathan Cude, chief creative officer at McKinney.

By focusing its efforts on TikTok, the brand hopes to expand its reach among Gen Z audiences and younger millennials. “[TikTok] continues to be a powerful way to reach young audiences, which is a core focus of our brand,” says Klein. “It’s a platform that celebrates entertainment, distinctiveness, and delicious food, which are characteristics that we value.”

Klein says that Little Caesars was the first global pizza brand — and among the first quick service restaurants to build a following on the app. In the last year-plus especially, the brand has invested significantly in generating engagement by creating original content and engaging with other users. It has thus far amassed 215,000 followers on the app.

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