Pizza Hut Gets Burned Trying to Get a Piece of the Presidential Debate Audience


Pizza Hut isn’t the first franchise to stick its foot in its mouth, but it might be the first to do so in a political arena.


Last week, Pizza Hut offered one of the attendees at Tuesday’s Town Hall presidential debate at Hofstra University free pizza for life if they asked one of the candidates, “Sausage or pepperoni?”


As Kurt Kane, the pizza franchise’s chief marketing officer said, some of the response Pizza Hut received wasn’t positive. Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report took a stab at the franchise by saying, “What could be more American than using our electoral process for product placement?” (He kind of has a point.) And Gawker snarked, “Want Free Pizza Hut For Life? Just Make a Mockery of the American Democratic System on Live TV.”


Seems like a high price to pay for free pizza a week for up to 30 years.


Pizza Hut (fortunately) changed direction following the negative press it received. The pizza franchise will now randomly select one pizza lover who voted on the sausage vs. pepperoni topic on the Pizza Hut website this past Tuesday.


How has your franchise incorporated the election into its marketing?