May 8th, 1959, marks a dynamic point in the history of pizza everywhere: the birth of Little Caesar's. LC was founded in Garden City, MI, by Mike and MarianIllitch, a great Detroit couple who are owners of the Red Wings, Tigers, and MotorCity Casino, Hockeytown Cafe, and more. Their franchise is the largest carry-out chain internationally, with restaurants on five continents.
In 1979, their famous "Pizza! Pizza!" advertising campaign was introduced, showcasing their low prices and that for the price of one pizza from their competitors, Little Caesar's could offer two. Currently, they are well known for the $5 "Hot-and-Ready" carry-out pizza.
Little Caesar's Mission Statement:
"To be the best take-home pizza chain by exceeding customer expectations with extraordinary value, great tasting prodcuts, and outstanding people while providing strong returns to our stakeholders."
For such a strong company, they've still had their ups and downs.
Little Caesar's has gone down in popularity over the years. What once was a No. 2 nationally ranked pizza chain is now easily settled down to fourth place behind Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's. Some say it is because of a change in quality of the pizza, which could very well be true, but their marketing is what could slowly be driving them into the ground. "Pizza! Pizza!" was around for a long time, and while LC still uses the catchphrase, they would now rather be known for the Hot-and-Ready marketing, which is direct but not as memorable.
Goals for the future? Bump LC back up to their previous No. 2 spot or higher in the minds of pizza lovers around the world.
One challenge that was a set-back for LC when competitors started doing it more, was the delivery aspect. They are known for their carry-out, take-home pizza, even though some locations do deliver.
The best part about Little Caesar's marketing is that they already have a great catchphrase and market. It just needs to be utilized better.
While I do believe it is always good to create something new and fresh, why not liven up something that is already great?
This can be the theme for a revamped multi-media integrated campaign. A great article from atomicideas.com targets Little Caesar's current problem: they don't use a designated advertising agency or regular in-house marketing, so their marketing has become less memorable and consistent. Integrated, most social media, marketing might be able to save this.
Their social media presence right now isn't signficantly strong, but it's clear that LC is trying. Many local stores have their own facebook pages and seem to try and update regularly to interact with their customers. The goal is to get Pizza! Pizza! back into the front of everyone's minds because it's already recognizable...just have to remind people about it.
I think the social media goal for this campaign needs to be to connect with users more. Hold contests on Twitter: twitpics of the most creative way to eat two large pizzas. Become the Roman Emperor of your local Little Caesar's on Foursquare with the most Hot-and-Ready checkins. The most "likes" on a facebook post about why you and your friends are worthy will get you a free pizza of the week. This will all show users that Little Caesar's cares about their customers enough to check up on them, and not just the other way around. This marketing is also measureable (with how many followers you have, "likes" on a page, check-ins, etc.) and can be tracked over time.
If Little Caesar's had a "peak" time, it would probably be in late December. The largest annual event of the year for LC is the Little Caesar's Pizza Pizza Bowl game for college football. This is not only good for the franchise, but they can also market for whatever teams are playing in the Detroit venue as well. There should be live coverage of the event, videos, tweets, blogging, etc.
The best part of Little Caesar's running this kind of campaign is that it is relatively inexpe