- Yum! Brands' Pizza Hut has released a limited edition new line of basketball sneaker called Pie Tops. The branded footwear comes paired with a Pie Tops mobile app and built-in Bluetooth technology that allows customers to order pizza at the touch of a button located on the tongue of the right shoe, according to The Street.
- The campaign, created by the agency Droga5, serves to promote $7.99 two-topping pies around the March Madness college basketball tournament. Only 64 pairs of Pie Tops are available, with no plans for a wider rollout at this time.
- Though Pizza Hut has a history of being a dine-in restaurant, half of its orders are now digital, with 70% coming from mobile devices, David Daniels, vice president of marketing at Pizza Hut, told Adweek.
Some might find Pizza Hut's latest promotion a little cheesy and over-the-top, but it also illustrates how brands might tap connected devices in unexpected ways. Given the Pie Tops' extremely limited availability, though, Pizza Hut is likely aiming for a viral sensation, with the idea of delivery-equipped sneakers generating social and online chatter to put the brand top of mind heading into what's likely a big sales period in March Madness.
Following that, Adweek reports Pizza Hut is largely gifting the Pie Tops to influencers and media people, the former of which are shown to connect more with young demographics who've grown averse to studio-quality, traditional brand messaging. A video spot, starring retired basketball star Grant Hill, is part of the rollout.
Quirky, branded products and other e-commerce offerings are becoming a more popular tactic with a number of big marketers. Cheetos, for example, launched an entire luxury holiday catalog that featured everything from hot pants to a $20,000 piece of jewelry. Easy to gawk at at the time, many of the offerings sold out quickly.