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Pizza Hut goes for slices of real life with employees in ads

Excerpt

The following is from the November 17, 2010, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Marketing Professor Daniel Howard provided expertise for this story.

November 22, 2010

By KAREN ROBINSON-JACOBS
The Dallas Morning News

FRISCO – If that Pizza Hut server looks really familiar, it might be because you remember him from high school. Or it might be because you saw him in a nationally televised commercial.

For the first time since maybe ever, the nation's largest pizza purveyor is eschewing celebrities and looking to servers, bartenders and a franchise exec to pitch pasta, chicken wings and an extra helping of authenticity.

While employees hawking products on camera isn't new, the approach is gaining proponents, each hoping earnest-looking workers will connect with consumers still loath to part with their dollars.

"With an actor, there's an inherent loss of persuasiveness [because] they were paid to do this," said Dan Howard, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University. "Employees are not viewed in the same way as paid actors. They have greater credibility."

Read the full story.

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