Pizza Hut came to China in the 1990s, but the brand was struggling to appeal to younger generations. A key passion point for young Chinese is mobile gaming. In partnership with the game King of Glory, the brand came up with an innovative way to motivate these young consumers to go to its restaurants to play the game.
Objective and Context:
While the brand is synonymous with pizza to many in China, it was struggling to connect with post-1990s generation, who prefer more personalization, a more appealing environment, and artisan pizzas. Pizza Hut was faced with finding a new way appeal to this younger generation.
The target audience for this campaign was game players between the ages of 15 and 30.
Pizza Hut knew that mobile gaming, an activity that more than 60 percent of the post-1990s generation is obsessed with, would be a great way to approach this audience. But how could it do it in a way that would be meaningful to its business and to gamers? Through internal research, the brand found a unique insight: while most mobile games are able to be played by a single person, there is one exception: multiple-player battle games. These games are better to play together with fellow gamers in an offline location because they require team strategy and seamless coordination. Playing together also give gamers a sense of brotherhood.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Pizza Hut saw this as a perfect opportunity to partner with the mobile game, King of Glory. With its base of 40 million players, King of Glory is unlike most mobile games in that it is easier to play when you join forces with others. The bigger the group of people who play together, the easier the game becomes, particularly if all the players are sitting next to each other in the real world. The game concept enabled the brand to make Pizza Hut locations in China the destination for players of King of Glory.
Whenever a King of Glory player was within a five-minute radius of a Pizza Hut store, the brand pushed a notification, inviting him or her to form teams at the nearest Pizza Hut. After players clicked into the game, they could see which other gamers were in the area and form a team. Once they were in the Pizza Hut store, the brand provided them with a dedicated Wi-Fi network so they had the best gaming experience.
In 20 days, over 100,000 gamers rushed to Pizza Hut stores to play King of Glory, which was twice what the brand originally expected. Over 150,000 limited edition King of Glory special meal sets were sold, a staggering 900 percent return on investment. Most importantly, Pizza Hut established affinity among young gamers, 50 percent of whom plan to go to Pizza Hut and play the game offline even after the campaign is over.