Pizza Pizza takes emotional approach to cauliflower crust

The QSR introduces the new offering with a campaign that moves away from deal-focused marketing.

Pizza Pizza has launched a campaign supporting its new cauliflower crust pizza, signalling a slight shift away from deal-focused marketing, according to Alyssa Huggins, the brand’s new VP of marketing.

Huggins, who joined the company three months ago, says the new offering and campaign is primarily about reaching consumers who are “on the hunt for some trend-worthy meals” and are increasingly looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diets.

“We saw the opportunity to add an alternative crust option to the menu that accomplished both of things without compromising taste,” she says.

But the offering also helps give new meaning to a brand that has traditionally focused on deals.

“This isn’t a new campaign platform by any means,” says Huggins. “But it definitely migrates the brand away from being so heavily deal focused and [towards] connecting with that consumer on a more emotional level.”

The crust itself is gluten free and vegan, giving customers who order dairy-free cheese a completely vegan option. Until recently, cauliflower crust was not widely available, which led many adventurous self-taught cooks to attempt making it themselves – with some difficulty, she says.

That’s where a playful 30-second spot comes into play. In the style of the increasingly popular “Pinterest Fail,” in which people post images of their best often unsuccessful attempts at cooking a meal or finishing a DIY project, the video suggests pizza lovers should stop trying to make cauliflower crust on their own, and to leave that to the pizza experts.

The campaign includes national TV buys, digital (both paid and owned channels), radio, OOH and influencer outreach. Pizza Pizza ran a sampling program last week and will be running another next week. The brand went direct-to-production-house with the creative, tapping Holiday Films for the work, with Tyger Shark on digital, Media Dimensions on media and the Colony Project on PR.

In recent months, TV shows and brands, such as Mars (with its new “Bite Off More than You Can Chew” platform), have similarly poked fun at consumers’ DIY fails.

“As with any brand, when you’re looking at what consumers are doing, and what’s important to them, where might we fit into their lives,” says Huggins, adding that Pizza Pizza observed people sharing their fails online. But, “I wouldn’t say that it’s something you’re going to see brands get into in a big way.”