BANGKOK, Thailand -- Yum Restaurants International (Thailand) Co. has struck an unusual joint marketing deal linking Pizza Hut with "Satree Lek II," the sequel to "Satree Lek" (translated as "Iron Ladies"), a movie about a transvestite volleyball team.
According to the Bangkok Post, the movie was a box office hit in 2000, tallying 100 million baht (U.S. $23.2 million) in ticket sales.
The restaurant chain is spending 10 million baht (U.S. $2.3 million) on the "Satree Lek II" campaign, which will hit local cinemas on March 7.
Panithan Sethabutra, managing director for Thailand and Indochina of Yum Restaurants International Co., said he expects the promotion to drive March sales at Pizza Hut up 20 percent.
As part of the promo, Pizza Hut will distribute "Satree Lek" collector cards and 100,000 figurines to customers who purchase special combo menus.
A similar campaign is expected to take place in neighboring countries such as Singapore.
"Satree Lek II," produced at a cost of 50 million baht (U.S. $11.6 million), is expected to earn at least 100 million baht (U.S. $23.2 million) in Bangkok alone. The film will also be shown in Singapore in March, Hong Kong at the end of April and Japan by the end of this year.
Panithan said the 83 Pizza Hut stores in Thailand posted 20 percent growth in 2002, despite a nationwide slowdown in the fast-food business.
Additionally, dishes such as spaghetti and lasagna on the Pizza Hut menu were proving more popular than expected.