Marketplace Scratch Pad

The word ‘pizza’ is just too long

Scott Jagow Jun 25, 2009

One thing that came up in our morning meeting is this new marketing strategy by one of the restaurant chains. It’s a restaurant that sells doughy pies with tomato sauce and toppings on them. Italian in origin. People get them delivered to their houses on Friday nights. Do you know what I’m talking about?

The chain is doing a restaurant redesign and the first one opens tomorrow in Jacksonville, Fl. Part of the redesign is a new logo that just says “The Hut.”

The company’s chief marketing officer had this to say about it via Reuters:

Pizza Hut was “introducing another vocabulary word,” Niccol said. “That ties in with [today’s] texting generation. … As we expand our online and mobile businesses, ‘The Hut’ is the perfect icon for our mobile generation.”

Which I guess means that The Hut is trying to help people, for example, stay within Twitter’s 140-character limit when they talk about the chain. (How about saving still one more character by going with “Za Hut”? Too German?)

But the real reason for the company’s makeover may be — too many people are staying home and eating frozen pizza. More from Da Hut’s marketing guy:

“The big solution is for us to come up with home meal-replacement solutions, whether it’s pasta, pizza or wings,” Niccol responded… In a moment of unintended candor, he said Pizza Hut is helping recession-strapped diners by offering “what’s perceived as restaurant-quality meals” for a reasonable price.

Oops. And for a reasonable price, I think I’d rather get an actual meal rather than a meal replacement.

But what if I just want to order PIZZA?

FYI, Rico Gagliano will have more on this for tonight’s Marketplace.

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