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SMS case study - Pizza Hut

Name and city and state of marketer
Pizza Hut, Pittsburgh

Name and city and state of agency or marketing services firm
Songwhale LLC, Pittsburgh

Campaign/program name
Pizza for a Year

April 1-29, 2009

Common short code and keywords used
Text the keywords WIN PIZZA to the short code WHALE (94253).

Pizza Hut needed to make its pizza and pasta dishes stand out among other brands in the Pittsburgh area.

Target audience
Consumers between the ages of 18-35

The strategy was to quickly build a database through the traditional media of television.

Call to action
Television spots promoting the shortcode and keyword call to action ran on Fox.

The combination of SMS and great prizes, such as the first prize of free pizza once a month for a year and a second prize of chicken alfredo. Other prizes included Pepsi or a large pizza for forwarding to friends.

Friend-forwarding was also used to further drive participation and put individuals in control of their ability to win prizes, taking the element of luck out of the equation.

By forwarding the text to five friends, they received a free two-liter of Pepsi and by forwarding to 10 friends they received a free large pizza. 

Pizza Hut saw more than 12,000 entrants in the first two weeks and more than 3,000 texted in during the commercial alone.

The rest of the entrants were driven by the friend-forwarder.

What next
We currently have ongoing promotions with Pizza Hut and are planning things for the coming months, including a national campaign.

Lessons learned
The combination of a great prize  ? free pizza for a year ? combined with other compelling consolation prizes that are easy to attain ? free two-liter soda or large pizza for forwarding ? with the use of mobile devices led to tremendous participation numbers.

Surprise finding
We did not realize how popular and successful the friend-forwarding would be, with participation numbers much higher than anticipated

Strategy quote
"The unique opportunities we finally have in Songwhale really activate Pizza Hut mobile marketing,? said Mike Buss, chief operating officer of Aurora Huts, Pittsburgh. ?Keep your eye on your phone for some tasty Pizza Hut pizza."