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Why Zulu Alpha Kilo Put Pizza Pie Charts across the Country


Pizza Pizza’s director, marketing Amber Winters and VP, marketing Adrian Fuoco with Zulu Alpha Kilo ECD Brian Murray discuss making a campaign for uncertain times, creating clever headlines and how they came up with pizza pie charts, writes LBB’s Josh Neufeldt

Why Zulu Alpha Kilo Put Pizza Pie Charts across the Country

Canada loves pizza. Whether it’s a thin-crusted Neapolitan, a quick and thick slice from the local joint or a frozen pizza at home, it’d be a hard ask to find a Canadian who’d simply say ‘no’ to pizza. Recognising this, Canada’s biggest pizza chain, Pizza Pizza partnered with Zulu Alpha Kilo to launch the ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’ campaign earlier this summer, which spreads the chain’s ideology that everyone has the right to delicious pizzas which suit their taste, price point, delivery method and location. 

This sentiment is furthered in the brand’s latest execution, in which the homegrown brand turns pizza pies into clever and culturally relevant pie charts. Launched across the country in the form of city-specific digital OOH and bus wraps, these pie charts feature over 60 custom headlines ranging from things like ‘People who say Toronto’ vs. ‘People who say Turronno’ (an ongoing local debate) to ‘People who carpool’ vs. ‘People with pools in their cars’. Each ad is also punctuated with the platform line, ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’, and displays a custom-sliced pizza pie to demonstrate how much pizza each group is entitled to. 

LBB’s Josh Neufeldt sat down with Pizza Pizza’s director, marketing Amber Winters and VP, marketing Adrian Fuoco, as well as Zulu Alpha Kilo executive creative director Brian Murray to learn more about how this campaign came to life. 

LBB> ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’ is a follow-up to Pizza Pizza’s ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza Program’. As such, what was the brief like? And what immediate ideas came to mind?

Brian> Pizza Pizza is Canada’s biggest pizza chain. It’s available pretty much everywhere, has great prices, and offers a lot of dietary options. It’s the people’s pizza in Canada. In July, we had finished creative development of the ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’ platform and the ‘Pizza Pie Charts’ campaign – and then we figured we could use a big buzz-worthy brand act to launch the new platform with a bang. With inflation being such a hot topic, we developed the ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza’ promotion/campaign and hurried it into the market. So, the pizza pie charts actually came first.

LBB> What was the reaction to the ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza Program’, and when did the idea to do a follow-up come about? 

Amber and Adrian> Our new positioning at Pizza Pizza, ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’, focused on the idea that good days or bad, victory celebrations or admissions of abject failures, at some point, we all feel a little bit better when there’s pizza. It’s something almost all of us have in common, and Pizza Pizza has been a common element in those experiences over the years. 
Knowing people are concerned with mortgage rates, rent and cost of living in general, it was a timely opportunity to have a bit of fun and get our message out there. It just seemed logical; in this kind of uncertain environment, we deserve to at least have confidence that our pizza price will be stable.

LBB> This campaign was meant to represent Pizza Pizza’s understanding of Canadians in a ‘playful but insightful way’. As such, what was the research process like for understanding Canadians? What lessons and key takeaways were gained during this process?

Brian> Our strategy team is always auditing cultural trends, Canadian reports and social media. But for this campaign, we’ve been doing research for decades. Pretty much everybody who worked on this campaign grew up in Canada - eating Pizza Pizza and hanging out in the places where our ads are running. So we mined our insights from experience. Zulu Alpha Kilo also has an office in Vancouver who wrote our Vancouver executions. 

Amber and Adrian> Connection to the community has always been a unique aspect of our brand. In addition to our restaurants, we’re in schools, hospitals, parades and stadiums, so we have a lot of varied interactions with Canadians every day. More formally, we had tons of great dialogue between our creative partners, Zulu Alpha Kilo, and our internal brand and creative teams. We have our methods for social listening as well as a deep-rooted and long-standing history with the Canadian audience - following behaviours and interests and combining that with our own experiences.  
The art of it comes during the transition between digging deep for the insights through formal methodology and bringing it back to something that’s meaningful and digestible for the audience.

LBB> What were your main aims and ambitions with this project?

Amber and Adrian> We’re trying to connect with people in a way that’s unique and ownable for us. Most brands in our space are competing on the similar category drivers, so if we can do well on those and find something of our own, that’s a win. 

LBB> How did you come up with the idea of turning pictures of pizza pies into pie charts, and what was the development process like? 

Brian> The creative team of Michael Siegers and Jonah Flynn came up with a bunch of different ways to bring the platform to life. An earlier idea to amusingly show ‘everybody’ featured Venn diagrams, which also just happen to be shaped like pizza. But the idea quickly evolved into pizza pie charts, for obvious reasons. Pizza pie charts were so simple, versatile and product forward. We tried different ways to create the pie charts – illustration and photography – and found that photos of the actual product worked best. We needed to photograph the pizzas cut up in a variety of ways to fit all of our different punch lines.

LBB> The campaign featured over 60 custom-tailored headlines, including ‘People who say Toronto’ vs ‘People who say Turronno’ – an ongoing local debate. What was the writing process like for these headlines, and how did the research influence the results?

Brian> At first, we knew we needed some generic outdoor headlines. Then we figured we could write some for people stuck in traffic, and then some for Dundas Square, and for people on public transit … and then we started getting requests for pie charts for all the placements recommended by the media company. So soon we needed jokes about hockey and music and movies etc. etc. The lines were all written in small batches over the span of a few weeks as the requests rolled in. But, they slowly added up. When someone mentioned to me that there were 60 different executions going to market, I was surprised. Jonah, the writer, was a machine. 

Amber and Adrian> The team at Zulu Alpha Kilo did an incredible job with the contextually relevant, memorable and funny headlines.  We tried to contribute relevant feedback wherever possible, but ultimately, the headlines came from our partner.

LBB> The campaign also featured bespoke perceptive headlines targeted to the Quebec market and developed by agency partner, The French Shop. Why were they the right people for the job, and what was the collaboration like?

Brian> The French Shop is always a great partner who can create insightful, unique executions for the Quebec market. I don’t usually laugh at jokes in French because I haven’t spoken much French since high school, yet they managed to create one of my favourite pizza pie charts. It featured people with a ‘Chalet’ and people with a ‘Chat Laid’, which translates to people with a ‘cottage’ and people with an ‘ugly cat’. 

LBB> How has the response compared to your ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza Program’ campaign so far? And how does this campaign fit in with your marketing strategy for the summer, and in the long-term?

Amber and Adrian> ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza’ really laddered up nicely into the sentiment of ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’. We gave ‘Fixed-Rate Pizza’ more media attention initially since it’s so topical and also something our customers can literally sink their teeth into. The great news is that it was the perfect set up for more activity surrounding ‘Everyone Deserves Pizza’ as our plans unfold this year and into next.   

LBB> What challenges have you faced during this project? How did you overcome them?

Brian> Like any really simple idea that seems super obvious, it took us a long time and multiple rounds of creative ideation and presentations to come up with ‘Pizza Pie Charts’. But that’s the job.  

Amber and Adrian> The sheer amount of custom headlines was a lot to execute, but working with the right creative and media partners ensured we had enough people to perfect it down to the last detail.

LBB> Is there anything you’d like to add?

Amber and Adrian> Readers. Are you sick of inflation and rising interest rates? Don’t get priced out of pizza. Get pre-approved for Pizza Pizza’s Fixed-Rate Pizza by filling out a simple questionnaire at today!
(Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). 

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Zulu Alpha Kilo, Fri, 16 Sep 2022 15:15:50 GMT