Little Caesars Serves Up #1 Ad But Blah Pizza

Young Americans hungry for Little Caesars’ new soft pretzel crust pizza got a bad taste in their mouths, after September’s top television commercial misrepresented the company’s latest menu item.

The latest Nielsen Brand Effect survey determined the Top 10 television commercials by testing participants’ recollection, likability and purchase intent for the products advertised. The demographic tested were Millennials ages 18-33, but Nielsen should havevfollowed-up with a survey asking product feedback after watching the commercial.

topads Notably, Millennials preferred Little Caesars’ new “Hot and Ready Pretzel Crust Pizza” commercial over big brands such as Victoria’s Secret and McDonald’s.

The Little Caesars spot, according to Ad Age, was 2.59 times more likely to be remembered and associated with the correct brand when compared to the average advertisement. The commercial advertises a new pizza topped cheddar cheese sauce, seven different types of cheese, and a salted pretzel crust.

However, customers were unhappy with the way Little Caesars portrays its newest pizza compared to the way it actually tastes.

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twitterjidjofIn the past few years, several fast-food chains have changed brand strategies and adopted pretzel elements in corporate menus, such as Wendy’s pretzel bacon cheeseburger and Sonic’s pretzel dog.

Bloomberg Business Week featured an article about Little Caesars’ new menu addition and the recent pretzel craze among Americans.

“What we’re hearing from customers is a little change will not hurt,” said Edward Gleinch, Little Caesars’ vice president of global marketing.

However, with a company that has a simple product line — $5 for pizza, bread sticks and soda — it could be risky to introduce something unconventional to such a targeted market.

Little Caesars is currently the third-largest pizza chain with more than $3 billion in U.S. sales, not far behind Domino’s and Pizza Hut.

Do you think that in an industry this competitive, Little Caesars is relying too heavily on an advertising and public relations budget to create #1 television spots instead of focusing on the actual product? Does too much attention on attracting new customers and more sales actually have a negative impact on quality and current customer retention?

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