And the Oscar goes to Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria

March 3, 2014

It was quite a night at the Academy Awards for Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Cate Blanchett and newcomer Lupita Nyong'o. Host Ellen DeGeneres kept the tone lighthearted and fun, and she also managed to keep Hollywood's biggest stars fed.

For that, the award went to Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria, based out of Burbank, Calif. In the middle of the live production, DeGeneres asked the theater full of celebrities if they were hungry, and promised them pizza. The joke prompted brands such as Pizza Hut and Fresh Brothers to jump on social media and offer up their pies for the event.

Shortly thereafter, however, a delivery employee from Big Mama's & Papa's showed up with three pizzas and a handful of plates. Slices were promptly handed out to the front row crowd and eaten by the likes of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence.

DeGeneres later collected money from celebrities for the delivery tip.

Big Mama's and Papa's Twitter and Facebook pages continue to be abuzz today, even asking its (growing) fan base if they think it should become the official pizza of the Oscars. If so, the 20-unit chain will give away "thousands of free 28-inch Big Mama's Pizza" to voters who like or share the post.

An employee from the concept told ABC News Sunday night that Ellen's talk show has ordered from them before.

TMZ reported today that Mama's & Papa's received more than $10 million in publicity from the appearance; a TV ad for the event cost $1.8 million and the pizza brand was in the spotlight for about 4 minutes.

"Big Mama's & Papa's actually collected around $75 for the 3 pizzas, so it may be the best ad deal in the history of TV," TMZ wrote.

Update:The pizza delivery employee's name is Edgar Martirosyan, and he was tipped $1,000 for the gig (according to ABC 7 Chicago).

Topics: Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online / Mobile / Social

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