Product: Pizza Hut
Title: Baby Sitter
Ad Agency: Ogilvy & Mather Advertising (Hong Kong)
First impression: nothing stands out except the intrepid toy soldier crawling towards domestic mayhem.
Idea/storyline: this ad is part of an on-going re-branding exercise Pizza Hut began last year. According to Pizza Hut marketing director Eunice Wong, the restaurant chain had suffered a deteriorating image and flagging sales for six years. Ogilvy was called in to raise its profile again. The latest commercials, Twister and Baby Sitter - which are part of the Share a Slice of Life campaign - focus on its home-delivery service and take a youthful, fun and dynamic tone. In Baby Sitter, a children's party is in full swing and the flat is in chaos. Two grown-ups wearing tiger and dinosaur suits are under attack from children wielding plastic swords. The voice-over says: 'Don't let a little something like hunger stop the fun. Call Pizza Hut delivery.' In his motorcycle outfit, the faceless figure of the pizza delivery man resembles a comic-book action hero out to save the world from hunger.
What the ad man/client says: Royce Yuen, group managing director for Ogilvy Southern China, says, 'The trigger for calling for delivery versus cooking or dining out is an important part of the Share a Slice of Life concept. Deliveries save time that can be spent doing more important things. The new commercials capture those moments when our core audience is having fun and doesn't want to pause for food.' Wong adds, 'Pizza is meant to be shared with your friends and family. In this sense, it suits Hong Kong's eating culture perfectly. Our re-branding builds emotional bonds with our customers [that] good times can be shared over pizza.'
Does it work? According to Wong, the campaign has turned business around in less than a year and the end of 2004 saw the company set new sales records. Creatively, the latest ads break no new ground. It is a straightforward message (delivered with little humour): if you don't have time to cook, pick up the phone and order.
But ... it is relevant. Any parents who have hosted children's parties can relate to the chaos. Ordering pizza is one of the best party tricks grown-ups can pull to keep overly excited children under control - albeit for a few minutes.