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Unity Peoples Pizza Consumer Campaign
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Published

Here is a good example of a clever low budget campaign that we ran which had a huge media coverage. …

Here is a good example of a clever low budget campaign that we ran which had a huge media coverage.

The campaign brief & Objective

In late April 2010, PizzaExpress briefed Unity to deliver brand buzz with a campaign that would communicate its product - great tasting pizza – through the filter of its core value ‘feeding great conversations’.

Although we knew we’d be going up against hundreds of brands attempting to capitalise upon the election, we felt it was too good an opportunity to miss so sought to devise and deliver a campaign in a two-week period – no pressure!

Strategy and tactics
In the run-up to the election, PizzaExpress’ 6.2 million patrons would undoubtedly be tucking into hearty political debate as they ate, so using politics as a hook felt right. We believed we could use these conversations to reflect the views of the nation - both back to the public, and also direct to the politicians themselves.

As any fan of the West Wing will know, election campaigns are fuelled by late nights and pizza – particularly the final few weeks. We felt that PizzaExpress could therefore neatly claim to be fuelling the election by feeding the politicos - both physically and metaphorically - through the delivery of a bespoke pizza that neatly communicated the views, concerns and opinions of the people that mattered: the electorate.

With an aim of using the medium as the message, we worked closely with head chef Antonio Romani to convert the political table talk - sourced through a poll - into the ‘People’s Pizza’, a portrait of political Britain.

Modelled on a traditional four-seasons pizza but with eight segments, each issue – such as the row over taxbreaks for married couples – was matched with a host of familiar and unusual toppings, in proportion to how much they were being debated over dinner. This included caviar to represent debate about class, ‘dough’ balls for the national deficit, and bacon to signify financial rows over rises in National Insurance Contributions and VAT.

Political pundit, Professor John Curtice, was then brought on board to comment on how political debates with friends and family genuinely influences voter behaviour. And to ensure our ‘People’s Pizza’ worked hard for us, PizzaExpress busted a gut to get it on the menu in relevant PizzaExpress restaurants across the country – namely those in swing seats where debate was at its fiercest.

Working closely with PizzaExpress’ in-house PR and marketing team the campaign delivered across a number of channels through the following strands of activity.

Teaser campaign – in the week leading up to the election, a series of night-time drops took place to party HQs around London. Paired with a creative infographic explaining the topical toppings, it provided a readily digestible mandate to the leaders of the three main political parties. A viral film was created of the undercover deliveries, and key spokespeople w

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  • 1. Name of category entered:10. Marketing Communications (less then £100k)Title of work: ‘People’s Pizza’, a portrait of political BritainAgency name: Unity,Company name: PizzaExpress,‘People’s Pizza’, a portrait of political BritainObjective / brief from clientIn late April 2010, PizzaExpress briefed Unity to deliverbrand buzz with a campaign that would promote itsproduct, through the filter of its core value‘feeding great conversations’.Although we knew we’d be going up against hundredsof brands attempting to capitalise upon the election,we felt it was too good an opportunity to miss, so soughtto devise and launch a campaign in a two-week period –no pressure!Please note, the election fell just outside the timeband for these awards, however coverage appeared Political pundit, Professor John Curtice, was then broughtover a five-week period from 29th April to 3rd June. on board to support the findings and comment onFurthermore, the ‘impact on sales’ figures weren’t how political debates with friends and family genuinelyavailable until June. influences voter behaviour. And to ensure our ‘People’s Pizza’ worked hard for us, PizzaExpress bustedPizzaExpress is proud to be a democratic brand – i.e. a gut to get it on the menu in relevant PizzaExpressone that appeals to every segment of society – as such restaurants across the country – namely those in swingthe target audience here was simply a broad consumer seats where debate was at its fiercest.audience. Working closely with PizzaExpress’ in-house PR andStrategy marketing team the campaign delivered across a numberIn the run-up to the election, PizzaExpress’ 6.2 million of channels through the following strands of activity.patrons would undoubtedly be tucking into heartypolitical debate as they ate, so using politics as a hook Teaser campaign – in the week leading up to thefelt right. We believed we could use these conversations election, a series of night-time drops took place toto reflect the views of the nation - both back to the party HQs around London. Paired with a creativepublic, and also direct to politicians themselves. infographic explaining the topical toppings, it provided a readily digestible mandate to the leaders of theAs any fan of the West Wing will know, election three main political parties. A viral film was createdcampaigns are fuelled by late nights and pizza – of the undercover deliveries, and key spokespeopleparticularly the final few weeks. We felt that PizzaExpress were engaged through social media – the likes of Johncould therefore neatly claim to be fuelling the election by Prescott and of Tory spin doctor Henry Macrory couldn’tfeeding the politicos - both physically and metaphorically help but comment on Twitter. These political tweets were- through the delivery of a bespoke pizza that neatly subsequently fed back to the media and made the diarycommunicated the views, concerns and opinions of the pages.people that mattered: the electorate. Media news story – the findings of our poll – illustratedMethod Deployed through our pizza – were sent to key media, politicalWith an aim of using the medium as the message, columnists and bloggers. This not-so-subtle bribewe worked closely with head chef Antonio Romani to worked as it not only got their attention, but also createdconvert the political table talk - sourced through discussion amongst journalists leading to follow-ona poll - into the ‘People’s Pizza’, a portrait of features.political Britain. Regional round tables – local politicians in key swingModelled on a traditional four-seasons pizza, but with seats were also delivered regionalised versions ofeight segments, each issue – such as the row over our edible manifestos and invited alongside theirtaxbreaks for married couples – was matched with a rivals to join each other for a pizza fuelled debate in ahost of familiar and unusual toppings, in proportion PizzaExpress restaurant. Local media were invited downto how much they were being debated over dinner. to cover the events and to review the new dish.This included caviar to represent debate about class,‘dough’ balls for the national deficit, and bacon tosignify financial rows over rises in National InsuranceContributions and VAT.
  • 2. Political portraits of the leaders - acclaimed food artist Although sales generation was not a key objective,Prudence Staite was engaged to create three political the restaurants non-the-less saw a significant uplift:pizza portraits of the leaders – providing each with a 12.73% and 14.93% sales increases respectively at thetaste of what voters really thought of them. Birmingham and Manchester branches (key swing seatsThe toppings were again informed by public opinion, where political pizza events took place)so, extra cheese for David Cameron, Chilli for Gordon 4.24% - the overall increase in sales across allBrown’s fiery temper and spicy sausage for passionate PizzaExpress restaurants during election week,Nick Clegg. a significant amount when translated into sales. Relation to objectives and cost-effectiveness Our activity clearly created buzz, and neatly brought the strap line - feeding great conversations - to life, by focusing on the table talk surrounding the election. Furthermore, the impact the activity had on sales, paid for it a hundred times over. Creativity/Originality At a time of fierce competition, the creativity of ourThe pizzas were: placed exclusively with The Sun’s campaign ensured that our story ‘made’ where so manyelection round-up page; hand delivered to the live others failed. We successfully capitalised on the election,debates (generating many tweets); and were even creating social currency for Pizza Express infeatured on the Politics Show. And when Gordon Brown the process.came under fire by disenchanted voter, Gillian Duffy,we doctored his pizza face with an extra ingredient - People: Nik Done, Gerry Hopkinson, Ella Dorley-Brown,egg (on his face) - sorry Gordon! - and pushed it out Phil Drew, Natalie Wheeler.across social media channels, to the public’s amusement. Outside contractors: None usedElection all nighter – to satisfy voters’ political appetite,PizzaExpress Millbank served-up its own slice of electionfever, broadcasting live coverage of the Election deepinto the night from the heart of London’s politicalepicentre, whilst serving up our People’s Pizza.This provided yet another media hook and furthercoverage including a BBC vox pop piece focused on thepublic’s view of our pizzas.OutcomeOver the election period (six weeks from the week beforethe election), we secured:10 national hits (inc The Sun x 2, BBC x 2, The Times,The Telegraph, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, TheIndependent, News of the World) from a total of…41 targeted pieces1 feature on the Politics Show753,453,680 opportunities to seeIn excess of 150 re-tweets and discussions generated –including OK! Magazine and The TelegraphSignificant was the quality of the tweets, from keyinfluencers including Guido Fawkes, Iain Dale, JohnPrescott and even David Miliband – “@JohnPrescott @PizzaExpress like Gordon and Labour, do you deliver ;)”Social reach of 178,000