Pizza Hut: Five Memorable Ad Moments and Milestones

Over 55 Years, Chain's Marketing Went From the Super Bowl To Space --

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Advertising Age Player

Pizza Hut's most recent pizza may have been crazy, but as it turns five years past AARP eligibility, it's promotion is becoming more subdued.

In celebration of the chain's 55th anniversary, Pizza Hut is promoting a carryout-only $5.55 large one-topping pizza from June 5 through June 15. The campaign, created by Interpublic's Martin Agency, will include TV as well as digital marketing and social media that highlight the price, but also some vintage ads and history. The campaign, for example, will feature imagery of the chain's first location in Wichita, Kan., which was founded in 1958 by two college-aged brothers, Dan and Frank Carney.

Pizza Hut spokesman didn't detail which vintage advertising and popular pizzas will be featured on the likes of Facebook and Twitter starrting this week. And over the years there have been many memorable ads and spokesmen, including Ringo Starr, the Monkees and Donald and Ivana Trump, along with promotions for movie sequels like "Back to the Future." In between there was everthing from pasta to P'zone (a calzone style item). Pizza Hut even sent its products into space in 2000 on the Russian Soyuz mission. And who could forget the tagline "Makin' it great?"

There's a lot to choose from, but here are five historical moments from the chain we dug up:

March 2013: Pizza Hut launches its Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza, which promises "an explosion of flavor at every bite," the latest iteration of over-the-top pizzas for which the chain has become well-known. The prior month it announced its mini-pizzas, dubbed Sliders, which the chain teased in a pre-game Super Bowl spot and announced during the game.

2003: Pizza Hut introduces its WingStreet concept, a chicken-wings brand within Pizza Hut

1996: Pizza Hut airs first-ever Super Bowl ad, "The Right Field," created by Omnicom's BBDO

1995: Pizza Hut launched its stuffed-crust pizza, which the chain at the time promised would "revolutionize" the pizza world.

1965 : "Putt-Putt to Pizza Hut" musical jingle is created and introduced as part of first Pizza Hut TV commercial.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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