Howie Mandel Blows the Lid Off That Pizza Guy Tipping Scam

HowieMandel

Have you thought about the cost of that delivered pizza? No, really? There is the cost of the pie itself. Ka-ching. Then there is that tip. Ka-ching. And then there is...well, there is that tip.

Targeting the massive fraud surrounding the real price of ordering a pizza, Red Baron Pan Pizza launched a series of video exposés yesterday on Facebook starring "Deal or No Deal" star and comedian Howie Mandel. With video cameras apparently planted everywhere, Mandel appear to invade a series of everyday American families to demonstrate the superiority of baking your own pizza instead of ordering. "The Real Deal" campaign focuses on the high price of a pie and those painful "hidden costs." The pitch from brand owner Schwan is that "Pizza delivery companies are deceiving consumers with notions of inexpensive pizza, but making them pay extra when they appear at the door for tip, delivery charge and whatever else they can come up with," says SVP of marketing Dan Hammer. Howie is there to blow the lid off of this scam. Scam, I say.

Okay, enough. Let them have their angle. My feeling is that a pitch like this only talks down to an audience by suggesting common knowledge and accepted practice are somehow outrageous. And the production itself only underscores the unconvincing faux point. Howie surprises a family that happens to have a video camera set up in the living room to film him entering? At some point the "reality" facade in advertising and media just has to be dropped from sheer tiredness and an exhaustion of believability. Or are we to the point where we accept any variety of video "reality" as fiction?  And this one goes on for three and a half minutes. The family involved seems half asleep. The only exciting thing going on here is watching how the famous OCD germaphobe Mandel avoids direct skin-on-skin contact throughout.

Red Baron is distributing the six-week Web series an episode at a time on Wednesdays through mid-June on Facebook.

The most interesting thing about the campaign so far as I can see is the distribution vehicle. Red Baron has a Facebook page with 88,000 likes, and so it seems a better place to gather an initial audience for the video than a simple YouTube channel, although YouTube is the underlying video platform being used. According to the YouTube count only a few hundred people bothered with the video on its first day.

Wake up, America! Don't you know when you're being scammed by minimum wage delivery boys?
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1 comment about "Howie Mandel Blows the Lid Off That Pizza Guy Tipping Scam".
  1. Bruce May from Bizperity , May 12, 2011 at 3:22 p.m.

    I am so outraged! I had no idea I have been wasting my money like this all my life. Thank God for people like Howie Mandel. What would we do without him?