What to do with that awkward window of time after you've ordered a pizza online and you're waiting to pick it up or hear the doorbell ring? Well, if the order's from Pizza Hut, you'll now have the option of checking out what's newly available in the way of on-demand flicks on cable.
The pizza chain and its digital agency, Triad Digital Media, have partnered with iN Demand, distributor of movies on demand (MOD) and other video-on-demand (VOD) entertainment through cable pay-per-view and other platforms. IN Demand is owned by Comcast iN Demand Holdings, Inc, Cox Communications Holdings, Inc. and the Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership. (MOD is a generic term created by the cable companies and movie studios to differentiate this content from the broader offerings included in VOD.)
The partnership enables Pizza Hut to offer online customers promotional content that includes movie trailers, video clips and trivia, in addition to a listing of suggested major studio and indie movies currently available through cable systems' MOD lineups.
People who order on pizzahut.com are given access to and encouraged to browse the offerings in a newly launched "Entertainment Hut" site, developed and managed by Triad (which is also the exclusive content ad sales agent).
Recommended movies will be geared to family entertainment, and all will be films immediately available for order through cable systems. According to the companies involved, cable MOD often gets major new movie releases on the same day that they are available on DVD, and many are available "weeks before" competitors Netflix and Redbox.
The benefits for the cable systems and studios lie in the ability to target and promote movies to Pizza Hut's large base of customers who order online -- people who are planning an at-home meal, and might be interested in ordering a movie to watch while they're eating their pizzas.
For Pizza Hut, the new service ties into its core brand focus on value, according to Armando Garza, senior director of customer relationship management. Offering customers entertainment options as they wait for their orders to be ready -- like the chain's simplified, everyday pricing ($8 for a medium pizza and $10 for a large with up to three toppings) -- is a way to provide added value, Garza tells Marketing Daily via email.
Entertainment Hut is "a great example of a way to keep our customers engaged with fresh, relevant content" and "something that sets our brand apart from the competition and, hopefully, keeps Pizza Hut top-of-mind for future purposes," Garza adds.
Does Pizza Hut expect that offering this entertainment/promotional content will encourage existing customers to order online more frequently, as well as draw new online customers? "Of course, that's always our goal -- to sell more pizzas," replies Garza.
With brands in all consumer product categories reaping the visibility and traffic- and sales-driving benefits of associating themselves with celebrity appeal, topping its menu offerings with a bit of Hollywood pizzazz would seem to be a no-lose proposition for a leading QSR brand.
Does the partnership deal also represent an additional revenue stream? Pizza Hut declines to discuss specifics of its deals, citing their proprietary nature.