Courtesy Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is reworking its pizza options to include such exotic ingredients as sliced banana peppers, sriracha, and curry. The pizza chain will double menu offerings with customized toppings, crusts, sauces, and drizzles. To signal the revamp, Pizza Hut is rolling out a new logo inspired by a swirl of tomato sauce on stretched pizza dough.
The move comes after Pizza Hut reported sales drops for the last eight quarters while such rivals as Domino’s (DPZ) and Papa John’s (PZZA) post better performances. “As we looked to bring more flavor to pizza, we looked at our entire marketing strategy and felt it was time to bring more flavor to pretty much everything,” says Jared Drinkwater, Pizza Hut’s vice president of national marketing. The new logo, with white lettering against a round red background, might have a little less cheese: The familiar roof, once three-dimensional and oh so iOS 7, has been made flat and one-dimensional.
Photograph by Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Corbis
“We’ve got a lot of equity in that roof,” Drinkwater says, “but it’s time for a little makeover.” Just as the roof won’t disappear altogether, the script will stay the same—which means the old logo plastered on roughly 6,500 signs around the country won’t seem obsolete.
The redesign is the work of the advertising agency Deutsch LA, which the pizza chain hired after firing Chicago-based McGarryBowen in July. Deutsch previously worked with Taco Bell, another brand owned by Yum! Brands (YUM), Pizza Hut’s Louisville (Ky.)–based parent company. ”They were part of the mastermind behind Taco Bell’s successful rebranding campaign a few years ago,” Drinkwater says, “and that business has been on fire.”
Taco Bell helped boost Yum’s third-quarter profits, with sales stores open at least a year rising by 3 percent, and Pizza Hut hopes that some of that success will rub off as it introduces more inventive, customizable pizzas and a more contemporary and—dare we say?—artisanal-looking logo.
The corresponding new flavors, which have been in the works for the last year and half, will hit stores on Nov. 19.