Adventures in Marketing: Pizza Hut, the Fragrance

Today in Necessary Things News: When we hear the words “Pizza” and “Hut” together, perfume is NOT the first, second or third thing that comes to mind. Yet the deep-dish pie chain’s Canadian marketing agency has a sense of humor, so they thought it might be fun to ask their Canuck Facebook fans about names for a theoretical pizza perfume. It was a great idea for a post, but when the company’s internal marketing department heard about it, they loved it enough to take it a step further.

That’s right, Pizza Hut Canada hired a aromachologist (word of the day alert!) to celebrate its 100,000th Facebook fan by brewing 110 bottles of “Eau de Pizza Hut” that smell like “freshly baked, hand-tossed dough” for a few dozen lucky cheese-and-red-sauce fanatics up north.

Will the average shopper find this perfume at the pharmacy or salon anytime soon? Of course not—but this stunt won the company a bit of free coverage in otherwise respectable publications like The Washington Post and CafeMom, whose bloggers came up with a list of ten other apparently ridiculous scents they’d like to sample. Examples include coffee, fried chicken, Kentucky bourbon and pad thai–which tells us that these ladies have incredible taste.

We call this a PR win. As the wise Mel Brooks told us so many years ago, it’s all about “Merchandising: where the real money is made.”

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 10, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT