October 16, 2012 smz-blog

Hold the toppings – the clash of politics and advertising

– John Gielow, Director of Digital Strategy

Where do we draw the line?  As the country prepares to watch round number two of the presidential debates tonight, Pizza Hut’s PR stunt isn’t turning out as planned.

It was a bold idea to garner national attention by offering pizza for life to anyone who asked President Obama and Mitt Romney if they preferred sausage or pepperoni on their pizza at the town hall-style debate.

Pizza Hut quickly found out that social media can be your best friend and worst enemy.  Negative backlash on blogs and in the media caused them to now ask consumers to take this toppings discussion online.  That may or may not be effective as many marketers learn you only get one chance at a first impression.

Making the decision of who we want to lead this country for the next four years is and should be a serious decision for each one of us.  The negative backlash in this instance can be seen as a positive as the debate should focus on serious topics, not toppings.

Pizza Hut, as well as all of us in the world of marketing, should learn from this. It doesn’t mean we should stop taking chances in the process of building brands.  However, we do need be make sure we take the time to Listen and Think prior to saying Do with any initiative. With the lightning speed of social media you better be ready to react, sometimes quicker than the time it takes to order your favorite pizza.

For what it’s worth, I prefer mushrooms and onions.


Comment (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *