Over the past year, pizza has become a pandemic staple, which has only resulted in intensifying a long-running rivalry between some of the biggest chains in the business. As a part of its bid to further boost sales and grab a bigger slice of the pie, Pizza Hut has turned to a reliable old friend: Pac-Man.
The use of the gaming icons to draw customer’s attention forms part of the company’s “Newstalgia” campaign. Soon the Retro-driven ads will bring back popular dine-in favorites, including Book It! pins, red cups, and stained-glass lamps – but with a little bit of a modern twist.
Talking of Pac-Man, limited-edition pizza boxes will feature QR codes. When the customers scan the code, it will allow them to play an augmented reality version of the game. The chain will also give players the opportunity to win an Arcade1Up Pac-Man machine cabinet.
In an interview with Insider, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, George Felix, explained the thinking behind the strategy.
“The idea behind Newstalgia was born out of listening to our customers and celebrating all the things they associate with and love most about the brand,” he said. “Whether it’s the Tiffany lamps, arcade games, the red cups, the red-and-white checkered tablecloth or, of course, our iconic pizzas – and fusing those timeless equities with modern innovations, as seen with the partnership with Pac-Man and limited-edition AR box.”
To help amplify the campaign, Pizza Hut partnered with actor, comedian, and new spokesperson, Craig Robinson, for a TV commercial. In the spot, he is shown playing a Pac-Man while chowing down on a $10 Tastemaker pizza.