Pizza Ad Campaigns Decoded

Pizza is a staple of any 20-something’s diet, especially college students. However, lately, I’ve noticed how ridiculous national pizza chains’ advertising is.

Pro tip for you pizza big wigs out there: People in America will always eat pizza. Always. But, if you insist on continuing to waste your money, I’ll let you know what you’re really saying to us.

Domino’s: Hey guys, we really don’t suck anymore! Really!

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Domino’s got a boost from some not-so-subtle product placement with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.

That allowed them to coast through the rest of the ’90s and most of the ’00s shoveling out below-average, cardboard-crusted pizza for elementary-school birthday parties and drunk college students.


Then came the proliferation of the Internet. Suddenly, entitled jerks with nothing better to do could tell Domino’s (and anyone else who would listen) just how much they sucked. Domino’s realized the jig was up and this was the result:

Their current TV commercials are so desperate that it’s difficult to watch. Domino’s is basically the guy at the bar after last call hopelessly trying to get someone–anyone–to come home with him.

Unfortunately, not even coeds eight vodka Red Bulls deep really want to eat Domino’s pizza.

Little Caesars: You’re adverse to human interaction and probably drunk, right!?

Little Caesars recently introduced their Hot-N-Ready deal. You can now walk into any Little Caesars and pick up a previously prepared cheese or pepperoni pizza for $5.

They seem to have given up hope that anyone will actually take the effort to call them to order pizza, which, for those of you keeping score at home, is their only product/service.

Little Caesars is pretty sure that–due to your crippling Internet addiction–you can no longer speak to a stranger over the phone. I mean, forget talking to another person to place an order! What is this the ’80s!?

Little Caesars also seems pretty sure that you’re living in a your mom’s basement or in a crappy apartment with four other dudes. See, they understand that you don’t have a lot of dough (get it!?) to be throwing at some hippy, artisan baked pizza that won’t even soak up the 15 Old Styles you had for lunch.

What else do they know? Well, they know you’re lazy so you won’t even care that you only have two options for toppings. And Little Caesars would know lazy–they haven’t modified their logo in 50 goddamn years.

“No, no, let’s keep this…I’m trying to get fired” -Little Caesars marketing exec probably.

Papa John’s: Remember me? I’m the guy from the sign, Papa John, remember? Uh, also fresh ingredients…I guess.

Papa John not only named his pizza chain after himself, but he also insists on appearing in every commercial. Sure, the Domino’s higher-ups appear in their commercials, but that’s only to show you how committed they are to not being so terrible.

This guy makes millions and, yet, that’s not enough for him. He must remind you that he made it possible for you to lure freshmen to your club’s meeting with the promise of free pizza.

Fun fact: If you say “Papa John” three times into a mirror, you can summon him. He won’t scare you like Bloody Mary, but he will bring a bucket of garlic dipping sauce and probably say something inappropriate to your mother.

Pizza Hut: Other pizza chains are such idiots we can sell anything we want…for $10

Pizza Hut is what most people think of as the classic (I use that term loosely) chain pizza restaurant. They’ve been at the top for so long with their weirdly shaped restaurants and salad bars that I think they’re getting bored.

They know the three stooges (Domino’s, Little Caesars and Pappa John’s) are such a minimal threat that they’ll give you anything you want for $10. You want anchovies and mushrooms on your pizza like a sociopath? You got it you weirdo!

But now, they’re getting so gung-ho that they’re introducing menu items no one could have been asking for. At this point, they don’t even care; they’re just trolling us. Pizza slider? Sure. Crazy cheesy crust pizza? Okay. Their business strategy must boil down to: Assume everyone is high.

That’s not even including bat shit insane stuff they offer in foreign countries.

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