The 2013 professional and college football season appears to have been good to the pizza industry: the four big chains – all launching new advertising and promotional campaigns targeting football fans – have seen their consumer value perception rise across the board since early September.
Little Caesars seemed to benefit the most, taking the biggest value perception jump, about double the amount experienced by category value leader Pizza Hut. Little Caesars is the title sponsor of the annual Pizza Bowl, a highly-visible post-season tournament played right after Christmas in Detroit’s 65,000-seat Ford Field.
Little Caesars broadcast a rather infamous radio spot this fall, where voice actor Alan Varner not only touted the new deep dish pizza for $8, but plugged himself and his website as well. They also debuted a TV spot for a $5 “Hot-n’ Ready” pizza with the bellowed tagline “Ohhhhhhh!”
Category value leader Pizza Hut hosted “The World’s Greatest Pizza Party” in Times Square on September 8th, giving away 5,500 free slices of pizza to commemorate the NFL season kickoff. Pizza Hut promoted its “$10 Any Pizza, Any Size, Any Toppings” TV commercial as a major advertiser on the NFL Network this past fall.
In third place value perception position, Dominos went a totally different route, poking fun at employees misunderstanding phone orders and instead urging customers to go to its web site instead.
Finally, also getting into the free giveaway concept was official NFL sponsor Papa John’s, which provided free pizzas for loyalty club members who ordered $15 or more of food for the first two games of the season. Papa John's joined with league marketing partner Pepsi to bring a season-long campaign during all 13 broadcasts of "Thursday Night Football."
Domino’s, Little Caesars, Papa John’s and Pizza Hut were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Value score, which asks respondents: "Does it give good value for what you pay?" All respondents were adults age 18+.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.