Malaysian Media Awards Winners Showcase

2023 | |

Pizza Hut Cheese Codes

Advertiser: Pizza Hut Malaysia
Brand: Pizza Hut
Credits: -

Objective & Challenge
The year end is Pizza Hut Malaysia’s Cheesy Poppers Pizza season. This year, it coincided with the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where conventional ad spaces were cluttered with promos from F&B brands and official sponsors. We knew we had to do something different to set ourselves apart from our competitors amidst the overwhelming media frenzy. So, our first challenge was to make Pizza Hut a significant part of the football chatter and establish its relevance while driving sales. Secondly, Pizza Hut is lower indexed among the younger under 30 audience. Our secondary objective was to win the affinity of the younger cohorts. These twin challenges led us to think through in unexpected ways to find an effective creative solution.

Insight & Strategy
To stand out in a cluttered media landscape during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we asked ourselves: where else can we reach football fans besides the usual media spaces? Our answer: mobile football games. Our data showed that there was an active community of 1.2 million monthly football gamers in Malaysia. This activity increased by 2.8x times during major football tournament season. The younger under 30 audience comprised about 54% of this football gamer cohort. While our competitors relied on traditional advertising methods, we took a different strategic approach to capture more screen time and share of voice of these football gaming enthusiasts with fewer expenses. But we knew that gamers are also selective about who they allow into their territory, so we had to execute our campaign in a nonintrusive way. We found the right partner in Totally Awesome, a youth first digital ad placement and engagement platform, that met our twin requirements of winning the young in the football gaming space. ‘Cheese Codes’ was our creative solution to win gamers in their online playing field. By integrating our unique pizza codes into the Aboards of popular football games, we allowed gamers to play their favorite teams while conveniently ordering and redeeming special offers with just a tap.

64 World Cup Matches. 32 codes. 25 Days. Enter Cheese Codes, a non disruptive cheeky hack, activated via Totally Awesome’s digital platform, that drove distinctiveness and recall for the brand among football gamers. We created numerous codes by combining pizza toppings with player names MBAPPEPPERONI (Mbappe, France), CRISPIANO (Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal), MEZZIRELLA (Messi, Argentina), NEYMARINARA (Neymar, Brazil), MODRICHILI (Modric, Croatia) and more. We dropped a relevant code on in game, dynamic A boards whenever a goal was scored by the same player on live TV. Gamers could order special pizza combos with just a tap on the interactive board, without disrupting gameplay. As the World Cup progressed, we concurrently tracked the scheduled dates of live games for quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, and shortlisted codes that would potentially be used for each game. We dropped a code each time a player scored during live broadcasts. Fans could tap on the code displayed on the Aboards in game and be redirected to the Pizza Hut website, where they can then use the codes to redeem pizza combos. We released more Cheese Codes to coincide with every goal scored on TV. By partnering up with popular mobile football games like FIFA, Football Manager, Top Eleven, Football Cup and Football League, we engaged the audience in real time, on match days. These in game cheesy codes were further amplified on Twitter to drive talk ability, using Pizza Hut’s organic tweets as well as 5 paid KOLs throughout the campaign period. Our media, creative & social team war room worked around the clock to churn out creative copies with cheese codes, working concurrently with the respective football game developer team on the backend to drop it live during matches.

A winning play that boosted positive brand sentiment and reached a new audience with more attention and engagement than traditional media spaces could ever hope to achieve. Cheese Codes proved that the key to winning over a tough crowd is by delivering a memorable and unique experience. The campaign contributed to over 29% of Pizza Hut’s Q4 revenue via sales of Cheesy Poppers Pizza. It also delivered the following results: Impressions: 8.4 Million Reach: 1.1 Million Active Gaming Hours: +100k Hours Unique Site Visits / Sessions: +18%