How Pizza Hut hijacked ‘Australia’s Super Bowl’
The campaign won in the Social Media category at The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC 2023.
Pizza Hut created rugby-related digital content to increase engagement
Five years ago, Pizza Hut Australia was in a difficult spot. Fast forward a few years and the quick service restaurant (QSR) had found its fight. Pizza Hut and the agency WiredCo. identified the hype around the National Rugby League (NRL), as a key to success and used gamification on Snapchat and TikTok to grab the attention of young Australians.
While rugby game nights usually created spikes in demand for Pizza Hut, fierce competitor Domino’s demand equally surged when Australia switches on their TVs to watch the NRL.
Pizza Hut’s goal was to use the hype around the game to maintain the peaks during match days and limit the troughs when no match was on. Pizza Hut wanted to create a campaign that delivered 5% additional reportable revenue to make it its biggest sales month ever and to beat the previous record by 2%.
Pizza Hut rewrote the rules for getting all the buzz around the NRL. It created a campaign around the rivalry between Queensland and New South Wales without becoming the official sponsor or having to pay for breaking strict regulations. The keyword here is State of Origin. Using Snapchat and TikTok, the platforms where many young Australians are active every day, Pizza Hut encouraged people to buy pizza to support their home state – ultimately to win share of mouth and brave competitor Domino’s.
Pizza Hut launched Sauce of Origin, a six-week national game played out in real-time on social media using customer sales data which drove consistently high revenue for the brand’s franchisees. The rules were easy. Customers order a pizza and support their state by choosing from a free blue or maroon sauce. New South Wales supporters choose blue and Queensland supporters choose maroon.
Pizza Hut animated 92,470 people to play along. The brand amplified this content out in real-time when the corresponding games were being played and broadcast live to millions of Australians. Interest marketing allowed Pizza Hut to target Snapchat and TikTok users from different states with different content.
The results surpassed expectations. Pizza Hut exceeded its reportable revenue goal by 227%. The campaign led to its biggest-ever sales month, beating its previous record by 5%. This meant that the brand defended its fastest-growing QSR position and delivered the 39th month of consecutive same stores sales growth.
The reportable revenue directly attributed to the campaign was beaten by 100%. And on TikTok, Pizza Hut also experienced a push. Organic TikTok engagement increased from an average of 1.5% to 2.5%.
With 48 consecutive months of positive same-store sales growth, Pizza Hut’s campaign has proven successful in the short and long run and it continues to reign super supreme as Australia’s fastest-growing QSR brand.