Pizza Hut’s New Promotional Sneakers Let You Press a Button to Order a Pie
When I was coming of age, I developed an obsession with pizza, but I never gravitated toward the pies from Pizza Hut, whose appearance, texture and taste led me to dub the chain “Grease-a Hut.” Fast forward a few years, and I can say I consider myself a fan of the Texas-based company’s goods, and I definitely applaud the powers that be for making impressive strides to promote their offerings.
In its second year serving as the official pizza provider of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the entity lives for this current stretch of time, as March Madness will soon fully be upon us, and fans will look to its menu to add to the enjoyment of catching their favorite teams. To accentuate the chewing and viewing experiences, Pizza Hut yesterday announced the impending release of its Pie Tops II, sneakers that let end-users place orders and pause live television broadcasts.
We all have Reebok to thank (or chastise, depending on your estimation of them) for pump kicks, which became the first shoe to rely on an internal inflation mechanism to offer wearers a custom fit. With yesterday’s news, Pizza Hut, in essence, said it wants to surpass that ingenuity and put its best foot forward to explore the promotional possibilities for sneakers. Easily topping last year’s initial Pie Tops footwear, this new product will become available to consumers come the week of March 19, which will coincide with the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games, with 50 pairs due to delight cheese-crazy, hoops-loving zealots.
At a time when companies are always considering how to distinguish themselves, one has to figure that planning sessions for this item must have been pretty fun. Relying on Bluetooth technology that connects them to a smartphone and the Pie Tops application, the high tops, which Pizza Hut will peddle through a partnership with the Shoe Surgeon, add novelty to the enjoyment of caving to a craving for the dough-based staple, with the sneakers featuring a smart button that makes placing an order a revamped experience.
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 5, 2018
The fancy footwear, available in red and wheat hues (talk about well-chosen colors!) marks what Bustle declares “the ultimate in street style,” but, at least for the second and third weeks of the tournament, the shoes will serve their greatest purpose when end-users are indoors. There will surely be upsets in the first two rounds, but enough of the top programs will move on that television viewership should be quite impressive for the remaining action, and Pizza Hut, figuring that the latter-stage contests will be teeming with edge-of-your-seat moments, is using technology to let buyers pause the tilts so they will not need to fear missing a single play should their deliveries arrive at a crucial moment (March Madness has so many commercials that we are guessing that a number of knocks on doors will come during breaks, but we shall see). According to USA Today, DVR receivers from such behemoths as DirecTV, Fios and Xfinity will make the pauses possible, with Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, Zipporah Allen, saying, “It’s called March Madness for a reason. We don’t want anyone to miss a play while answering the door to get their pizza.”
This concept has such potential to thrive that we are not even that upset that medium pies are as far as end-users can go when tending to their hunger. The shoes, which will come in sizes to accommodate men, women and teenagers, mark an interesting addition to the company’s identity, especially since Pizza Hut is touting it as incredibly user-friendly. The footwear news also builds on a busy period for Pizza Hut, which recently succeeded Papa John’s as the National Football League’s pizza sponsor.
It will be interesting to see how the pigskin connections drives sales, but that is a matter for late summer and all of fall. Late winter and early spring are the times for the shoes to shine, and come April 2, the date of the championship matchup, Pizza Hut is surely hoping it will have implemented a slam-dunk promotion. One wonders what the 50 end-users who win the shoes will do with them post-tournament. Here’s hoping they keep donning them and, perhaps, cheese it up with selfies after they venture to a basketball court.