Little Caesars tops campaign with reverse psychology

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Little Caesars forbids consumers to visit their locations
Little Caesars forbids consumers to visit their locations

The Offer: Pizza chain Little Caesars enlisted its new agency of record, New York-based Barton F. Graf 9000, to deliver a saucy integrated campaign that instructs customers not to do exactly what the brand does want them to do: namely, to visit a Little Caesars location and purchase a $5 “Hot-N-Ready” pizza. The goal of the campaign is to promote Little Caesars takeout items.

The Data: The brand made an aggressive campaign push via social, where, as of August, it had more than 1.3 million fans and more than 6,300 followers on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

The Channel: Little Caesars served its campaign via radio, mobile, online, video, and social. Visitors to a dedicated microsite are encouraged to share the experience on Facebook or Twitter.

The Creative: A series of radio spots advised listeners, in no uncertain terms, not to call 1-800-Try-Little-C. When they of course do, callers are then told not to visit forbiddenpizzawebsite.com, where they are informed upon visiting that this is their “final warning” and not to enter their physical address. When they inevitably do, they are given the unfortunate news that their house is now haunted by ghosts. A Google Map automatically appears with directions from their home to the nearest store. The only way to “un-haunt” their home, they are told, is to drive to Little Caesars and buy a pizza.

The Verdict:

Cathy Salazar is senior partner and search practice lead at MEC Interaction, where she is responsible for oversight of AT&T's search marketing business. Salazar has more than 12 years of experience in the digital field, including display ad work for Agency.com and JPMorgan Chase. Read our Q&A with Cathy for more.

It certainly piques your interest. They had me through the address input process, but I felt a little disappointed with the “house is haunted” bit. Where Little Caesars delivers is with the drive to the store.

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