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."
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