Pizza Hut Brings Back Pie Tops for March Madness

They'll be available for purchase and will let you pause the action

Pizza Hut, Droga5 and the Shoe Surgeon are back for another March Madness campaign with Pie Tops II.
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Last year, Pizza Hut and agency Droga5 came up with the idea of Pie Tops, limited-edition high tops that utilize geolocation to allow you to order a pizza at the press of a button, and “Shoe Surgeon” Dominic Chambrone helped bring the concept to life.

This year, in celebration of its second year as the official pizza of the NCAA, Pizza Hut, Droga5 and the Shoe Surgeon are back for another March Madness campaign with Pie Tops II.

“What we love about partnering with him is he specializes in creating custom sneakers, he’s well known in sneaker culture and he’s just a fabulous partner to work with on something as special as this,” Pizza Hut U.S. chief marketing officer Zipporah Allen told Adweek.

Available in both red and wheat colors, with cheese grater mesh on the side of the shoes, cheese-pull laces, and “extreme marinara splash,” Pie Tops II allow you to order Pizza Hut’s deal (two-topping, two medium pizzas for $5.99) and pause the game while you receive your delivery.

“Last year was really about highlighting our ease of ordering with that single push-button order of a pizza,” Allen explained. She added that this year, “we’re most focused on the delivery occasion” and making sure consumers watching NCAA March Madness basketball at home “don’t miss a minute of that action when their pizza gets delivered. You don’t want to miss a play, and that passion and engagement was really the impetus [for the pause button].”

A broadcast spot running in both 30- and 15-second versions highlights the new feature, focusing on a group of friends. After using her Pie Tops II to order pizza, a woman named Jenny then pauses the action to make sure she doesn’t miss anything while answering the door.

The broadcast campaign debuts today and will run through the end of the tournament. Supporting elements include a social campaign centered around a hype video introducing the Pie Tops II (which also debuts this week), media integration with Turner and CBS, a custom content series with Bleacher Report and Yahoo Sports running throughout the tournament and digital assets at Pizza Hut’s website.

There’s another new development this year: fans can actually purchase a pair of Pie Tops II.

“Last year was a huge success for us, and our fans loved the sneakers. The number one request was ‘Where can I get a pair?'” Allen said.

Last year, 64 pairs of Pie Tops were made available to members of the media, influencers and a few select superfans. This year, Pizza Hut partnered with to sell 50 pairs of Pie Tops II during the week of March 19 (coinciding with the Sweet 16 section of the tournament), with 50 more given away via social media and more raffled off at Final Four Fan Fest in San Antonio.

Agency: Droga5 NY
Creative Chairman: David Droga
Group Creative Director: Justin Ruben
Associate Creative Director: Rich Singer
Associate Creative Director: Zack Menna
Senior Art Director: Christian Chico
Senior Copywriter: Nicholas Bauman
Senior Art Director: Ruben Orter
Senior Copywriter: Ben Butler
Design Director: Michael Kleinman
Creative Technologist: Chloe Karayiannis
Chief Creation Officer: Sally-Ann Dale
Executive Producer, Film: Dieter Lebbe
Producer, Film: Gabija Blake
Associate Producer, Film: Annie Vlosich
Director of Business Affairs: Jocelyn Howard
Business Affairs Manager: Keith Marman
Co-Director, Interactive Production: Tasha Cronin
Executive Producer, Interactive: Shayan Amir-Hosseini
Senior Producer, Interactive: Kristen Rantuccio
Producer, Interactive: Grace Wang
Director of Print Services: Rob Lugo
Associate Director of Print Services: Riely Clough
Senior Art Producer: Emily Heller
Producer, Print: Rose Mahan
Retoucher: Peter Gibson
Retouching Studio Manager: Michelle Leedy
Global Chief Strategy Officer: Jonny Bauer
Group Strategy Director: Joanna Schwab
Strategy Director: James Friedman
Communications Strategist: Mariel Milner
Chief Operating Officer: Susie Nam
Group Account Director: Ben Myers
Account Director: Jordan Cappadocia
Account Supervisor: Victoria Gan
Account Manager: Andrew Mullen
Senior Project Manager: Andrea Verenes
Associate Legal Counsel: Erica Palaia

Client: Pizza Hut
Chief Brand Officer: Marianne Radley
Chief Marketing Officer: Zipporah Allen
Director, Advertising: Jenna Bromberg
Senior Manager, Advertising: Lindsay Morgan
Senior Associate Manager, Marketing: Amanda West
Associate Manager, Digital Marketing: Amanda Hitchcock
Senior Director, PR & Partnerships: Doug Terfehr
Manager, PR & Partnerships: Courtney Moscovic
APR Cost Consultant: Ron Hacohen

Production Company: Anonymous Content
Director: Max Sherman
DOP: Tim Hudson
Executive Producer: Lori Stonebraker
Producer: Laura Miller

Editorial: Cosmo Street
Editor: Tom Scherma
Assistant Editor: Dave Otte
Executive Producer: Maura Woodward
Producer: Luiza Naritomi

Post Production: The Mill
Executive Producer: Heath Raymond
Producer: Bugs Russell

Music: The Diner
Sound: Heard City
Mixer: Evan Mangiamele

Shoe Design: Shoe Surgeon
Chief Designer: Dominic Chambrone
Production Manager: Dallas Imbimbo
Designer & Developer: Pierce Lopatic

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.