March Madness is on and along with it some interesting ‘methods to the madness’ are doing the rounds. Pizza Hut is offering a set of limited-edition high-top sneakers that use geolocation to allow wearers to order and get delivery of their pizza wherever they are. Brainchild of ad agency, Droga5, the high top sneakers nick-named ‘pie top,’ were handmade by the Shoe Surgeon, who is none other than Dominic Chambrone, a legend in the custom sneaker business.
All that a wearer has to do is press a button on the tongue of the sneakers to connect with a special Pie Tops app (owned and operated by Pizza Hut) and order his pizza. The ad spot featuring NBA great Grant Hill, makes it really easy to understand. Frankly, there’s nothing much to understand about this March Madness innovation from Pizza Hut…just press the button on the sneakers and get your pizza. Droga5, which replaced Deutsch as the ad agency for Yum Brands, the parent company that owns the Pizza Hut brand, had a simple brief – to create something that pushes up sales. Droga5’s response with the Pie Top ordering button was lapped up by the Yum Brand management no sooner it was bounced to them. David Daniels, VP – media and advertising, Yum Brands, bit into Droga5’s idea, hook, line and sinker. “We loved it. This is one of those ideas that as soon as we saw it, we wanted to buy it. It hit everything we wanted to communicate in this window in a fun, really relevant way. And it was beautifully tied to the thematic of the tournament and the season,” he exclaimed.
The innovation fits in to Pizza Hut’s online promotion for carryout or delivery. It was necessary to focus on the ease of ordering online especially to show a customer how easy it is to order a pizza from Pizza Hut using different digital devices and modes like, phone, tablet, laptop, Alexa-enabled devices, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and other social media platforms. Daniels explained, “As far as we know, this has never been done before. We feel it’s highly culturally relevant. Sneakers are hot. We’ve enlisted a really cool professional to design these shoes for us—the Shoe Surgeon out of L.A.”