Football season provides perception lift for pizza chains
The 2013 NFL and college football seasons have been good to the pizza industry thus far: the four big chains (Pizza Hut, Domino's, Papa John's and Little Caesars) have all launched new advertising and promotional campaigns targeting football fans. Consequently, their consumer value perception has increased across the board since early September, according to YouGov BrandIndex, a daily brand consumer perception research service.
Little Caesars seems to be reaping the biggest benefits, 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, played after Christmas at Detroit's 65,000-seat Ford Field.
Little Caesars' fall radio spot includes voice actor Alan Varner touting the new deep dish pizza for $8. The brand also debuted a TV spot for a $5 "Hot-n' Ready" pizza with the shouted tagline "Ohhhhhhh!"
Pizza Hut hosted "The World's Greatest Pizza Party" in Times Square Sept. 8, giving away 5,500 free slices of pizza to commemorate the NFL season kickoff. Pizza Hut also promoted its "$10 Any Pizza, Any Size, Any Toppings" TV commercial on the NFL Network this fall.
In third place value perception position, Domino's went a different route, poking fun at employees misunderstanding phone orders and instead urging customers to order from its website.
And, Official NFL sponsor Papa John's 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 and older.
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.
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