No one can say that Pizza Hut's been playing it safe when it comes to crazy new products.
The chain this week is rolling out a Crazy Cheesy Crust pizza, which promises "an explosion of flavor at every bite." It's essentially a traditional Pizza Hut pizza with 16 pockets of cheese around the crust. Pizza Hut is touting new flavors with the pizza, as the pockets house five types of cheese.
Pizza Hut is well aware that this limited-time product is a little strange, and is promoting it as such.
"On pizza night, sometimes it's O.K. to go a little crazy," said spokesman Doug Terfehr. "We think we have the product that lives up to that promise." Digital marketing for it launches today--the same day the product debuts-- thought TV advertising begins this weekend. Interpublic's Martin Agency created the TV advertising, Omnicom's TracyLocke is handling the social marketing and Interpublic's Huge was responsible for digital marketing.
Mr. Terfehr said that the Crazy Crust pizza is not necessarily more innovative than Pizza Hut's other recent new products in the U.S., such as the recent pizza sliders, which are small, single-serving pizzas. But "From a wow and a beauty standpoint, it's one of the pizzas we're most proud of," he said. "We really think this is one of our most creative pizzas ever." As such, it's one of the company's biggest launches this year.
The over-the-top pizza is counter to the healthful marketing tactics many other fast-food chains are using, such as McDonald's introducing the McWrap, in the hopes of luring calorie-counting customers. Pizza chains in general seem to be less concerned with attracting such consumers.
Pizza Hut's new product has roughly the same calories per serving as the pan pizza and stuffed-crust pizzas: 1/8 of a large 14-inch cheese pan or stuffed pizza contains between 110 and 125 calories and 12 to 17 grams of fat.