Magazine article Marketing

Hut Property

Magazine article Marketing

Hut Property

Article excerpt

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Todd Martin, Pizza Man, the marketer who gave Europe the stuffed crust pizza, the `Supermodels' TV campaign and reversed the fortunes of his brand.

Martin, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Clark Kent, loves pizza, loves marketing pizza and, as a one-hour interview proves, loves talking about pizza. Now he is to sing its praises to the whole world.

The 41-year-old American has been handed the new role of vice-president of marketing for Pizza Hut International, and will seek to take pizza where no man has taken pizza before.

PepsiCo Restaurants International has put its faith in Martin after he successfully executed a pan-European marketing strategy which culminated in the stuffed crust pizza ad with Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. His marketing strategy turned a 5% decline into an average growth rate of 30%, and now PRI wants Martin to perform similar feats around the world.

The next move in Pizza Hut's global campaign will be an ad starring Pamela Anderson, to be screened in the UK in February. So, having done commercials that featured three of the world's most desirable women, what subject is Martin most keen to talk about?

Yes, it's pizza: "I always felt it was an unexploited property. In the interview for the job I said `You've got really good pizza but everything else is deadly dull and marketing is nonexistent'. When I got the job I discovered that marketing did exist but involved money-off coupons and leaflet drops."

To turn around Pizza Hut's fortunes he commissioned research and discovered that while there were many minor differences, a couple of things were the same for every country. "We had the best pizza in pan pizza and the best new product in stuffed crust and we beat local competition every time, but we were perceived as boring," he says.

Martin sums up the strategy he developed as "famous pizzas, famous personalities and fun". `Supermodels' was the first incarnation of that strategy.

If Pizza Hut's ad agency, Abbott Mead Vickers, made the type of ads that feature happy families in a cosy restaurant, Martin wouldn't look out of place as the dad (in fact, he has two young children).

Despite his Clark Kent looks, Martin admits he is no Superman. …

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