Halloween is for ... pizza? Plus Jenny Craig opens inside Walgreens: Marketer’s Brief
Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected].
Halloween is a make-it-or-break-it holiday for candy marketers. But pizza chains have a lot at stake, too, as brands compete to win over parents too busy to cook. Halloween ranks as one of the top pizza-ordering days of the year, along with Super Bowl Sunday, New Year's Eve, the night before Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, according to industry group American Pizza Community.
This year, chains are trying to stand out with holiday-themed products and giveaways. Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, the LeBron James-backed fast-casual chain, plans on delivering about 500 pizzas in special boxes that reveal messages such as “Creepin’ it Real” under black light. Those who find the messages and post about them on social, tagging Blaze, could win free pizza each week for a year and other prizes. Blaze, which introduced a large pizza last month as it tries to become a bigger competitor to more traditional pizza chains, is also offering free delivery through Nov. 7. The chain previously focused on 11-inch pizzas more suited for a single diner.
Even the big chains are pulling out the tricks and treats. Leader Domino’s is offering $50 gift cards for people who retweet a post about national pizza month, and its latest post about the promo has a Halloween theme. Papa John’s, meanwhile, is going with its $11 jack-o-lantern pizza, with a pepperoni border and smiley face.
At Pizza Hut, where third-quarter same-store sales fell 3 percent, parent Yum Brands said Wednesday, a national pizza month promo includes giving out $20 gift cards on Reddit. Sure, giveaways can work, but so can subtlety. Little Caesars’ latest social media messages get right to the point:
Jenny x Walgreens
Jenny Craig plans to open 100 locations inside Walgreens locations across 20 states in January, the companies announced Monday. The deal gives the weight loss company its first presence in a national drugstore chain just as the perennial diet season kicks into gear. Offerings inside Walgreens locations will include one-on-one consultations, menu planning, and meal delivery. Jenny Craig and Walgreens said they will explore other possible collaboration plans after the locations open. Jenny Craig has about 500 company-owned and franchised locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Mitsubishi bails on esports partnership
Mitsubishi Motors Taiwan has halted its esports sponsorship with video game publisher Blizzard Entertainment, according to Game Industry Biz, a trade publication that covers the space. Mitsubishi had previously been running ads during tournaments for “Hearthstone,” an extremely popular card game in the esports arena. The car manufacturer's move comes after Blizzard banned a well-known Hearthstone player for supporting Hong Kong protesters during a livestream in early October, which in turn riled the game’s vocal fan base.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s Coach’s mascot
There will be a new face floating above the streets of New York City in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade next month. Coach, the New York-based fashion brand, will debut a float with its 4-year-old brand mascot, a T-Rex named Rexy, in the annual event, now in its 93rd year. Coach will also release a Rexy-themed collection of accessories and t-shirts on Nov. 15 at Macy’s stores as part of the collaboration. Dino-mite.
When the thought isn’t enough
Etsy may have started as an ecommerce site, but it's going old-school for the holidays this year. The craft marketplace is hosting its first holiday hotline on Nov. 5. Consumers can call (844) 9900-JOY (844-990-0569) for gift advice from a team of trend experts about what to get that special someone for the holidays. Those who dial in should be ready to share their ideal price point along with unique traits and interests of the person they’re buying for. They also need to have an Etsy account, because all callers will receive an Etsy gift card.
Painters, start your engines
This is not your average Wienermobile: Oscar Mayer is giving Nascar fans the chance to design the paint scheme for the Ford Mustang driven by Ryan Newman. Fans can download a car template to cook up their own meat-inspired paint themes, with the winning design being put on the car for the TicketGuardian 500 in Phoenix next March. The promotion comes as the Kraft Heinz meat brand extends its partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and driver Ryan Newman for two more years, through the 2021 season. Oscar Mayer will again be the primary partner on the No. 6 Ford for multiple races.
Would you buy this?
Caulipower, which sells frozen pizza with a crust that includes cauliflower, is adding to its lineup. Cauliflower-crusted chicken tenders are gluten-free and baked, which means they contain lower calories, net carbs and fat compared to standard frozen tenders. Video ads released this week suggest the brand is giving the internet what it wants.
Number of the week
33: That's the percentage of men ages 18 to 29 who said they would consider wearing makeup; 30 percent of men ages 30 to 44 said they'd be open to the idea, according to a recent survey from Morning Consult.
Tweet of the week
Comings and goings
Beyond Meat Inc. named Stuart Kronauge as its chief marketing officer, effective in January. She has worked at Coca-Cola Co. for more than 20 years, most recently as president of the sparkling brands business that includes Coca-Cola and other drinks. Beyond Meat also named longtime Nike marketer Marc Patrick as senior VP of marketing. He starts in November.
Wonderful Agency, the in-house agency at Wonderful Company, the seller of Wonderful pistachios, Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice and other products, named Bobby Pearce as its chief creative officer. Pearce had been an executive creative director at the internal agency since July and was previously chief creative officer David & Goliath. Wonderful Agency’s prior CCO was Darren Moran, who left a few months ago.
Koddi, which supplies marketing software for the travel industry, tapped Carlisle Connally as VP for customer success and strategy, a newly created role. She had been VP of global paid media, global marketing at Marriott International.
Contributing: Jessica Wohl, Adrianne Pasquarelli, George P. Slefo, E.J. Schultz