Pizza Hut Serves Up Free AOL Subscription

Share this content:
TOKYO - American Online had Pizza Hut deliver free subscription software with pizzas across Japan in late summer to promote AOL services among young city dwellers.

"Many of Pizza Hut's users are young people living in cities. These are the kind of people we want to target to expand our service," an AOL representative in Japan, Chilako Jo, said.

In the month-long pilot trial, people calling Pizza Hut's 230 restaurants for a home delivery, were asked whether they had a PC at home.

If the customer did own a computer, the Pizza Hut staff delivered a CD rom with the pizza.

"Pizzarom was specially designed for the campaign and contained the Pizza Hut and AOL logos," Jo said.

"It was designed to look like a pizza and contained pizza-themed computer games such as pizza bingo. The desktop wallpaper imitated a pizza, the cursor resembled a pizza and icons were pizzas," she added.

The disc also contained installation software providing 50 hours of free access to AOL.

AOL has not determined whether or not the trial was a success. "We are still assessing the results of the trial," spokesman for AOL in the US, Angelo Ioffreda, said.

"But we got a buzz going about AOL because it was such an innovative idea," he added, declining to give response rates.

The project was cooked up by AOL Japan. However, AOL in the US has launched similar promotional campaigns (it was the first company to give away software for free).

In 1997, Sony agreed to include AOL's online service software on a few CDs such as Michael Bolton's "All That Matters" and Celine Dion's "Let's Talk About Love."

The company has also delivered free software and online subscription with Omaha steaks and handed out CDs at amusement parks.

If the Pizza Hut trial in Japan proves out and swells AOL's subscription figures in that country, it may be repeated elsewhere.

AOL Japan is 50 percent owned by AOL in the US. Mitsui owns 40 percent of the company and Nihon Keizo Shimbun 10 percent.

The Japanese company was launched in 1997 and now has 100,000 members.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above