Yes, Duke star Grant Hill is endorsing Pizza Hut Pie Tops sneakers for March Madness. However, the idea never would have come to life without ad agency Droga5 and The Shoe Surgeon, Dominic Chambrone.
Pizza Hut, and its rivals, have pioneered ways to order food — be it online, over the phone, or from an app. The Pizza Hut ‘Pie Tops’, a sneaker limited to only 64 pairs (to match the 64 teams participating in March Madness), allows the wearer to press the button on the tongue and have pizza delivered to the location of the sneakers. Wearers can even customize the order they place with an app.
The Pizza Hut ‘Pie Tops’ will likely land in the hands of media and influencers that will push the brand’s message: it is incredibly easy to order Pizza Hut via sneakers, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, tablet, phone, etc. However, a few fans will be able to get the sneakers, and the date appears to be March 6, yet no release method has been unveiled yet.
The kicks are also stressing Pizza Hut’s latest online-only promotion for March and April — $7.99 for a large two-topping pizza, available for carryout or delivery. That should be enough to feed you and a couple friends during the madness.
AdWeek spoke with David Daniels, vp of media and advertising for the Yum Brands chain, who instantly took to Droga5’s idea.
“We loved it,” he says. “This is one of those ideas that as soon as we saw it, we wanted to buy it. It hit everything we wanted to communicate in this window in a fun, really relevant way. And it was beautifully tied to the thematic of the tournament and the season.”
The recent marketing campaign piggy-backs on the booming industry that is sneakers and footwear.
“As far as we know, this has never been done before,” Daniels says. “We feel it’s highly culturally relevant. Sneakers are hot. We’ve enlisted a really cool professional to design these shoes for us—the Shoe Surgeon out of L.A. These 64 pairs are handmade, and pretty cool.”
I love seeing customizers who have worked for years flourishing in today’s market. The Shoe Surgeon has been putting in serious work. What do you think of his latest? Does anyone else see a Reebok Pump vibe to the ‘Pie Tops’?
Brace yourself. pic.twitter.com/V4Vs4PV2gR
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) March 1, 2017