Newest Pizza Hut Gimmick — Ordering Pizza With Shoes
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been playing a pickup basketball game and, with about 25 minutes left, felt the need to have a pizza waiting for me at the end of the game. And who wants to stop the game to take 30 seconds to order the pizza with a smartphone app? If only there was a way of ordering pizza with my shoes while I was running back on defense …
Honestly, this has never happened to me or probably to anyone else. But that doesn’t mean someone hasn’t come up with a solution to the problem that never existed, using true American ingenuity.
Pizza Hut now allows you to press a button on the tongue of its special “Pie Tops” shoes — yes, Pizza Hut is owning that horrible pun — to order a pizza. The shoes make a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone, and pressing the button triggers an app to have a pizza delivered to you. The delivery is made to the shoes’ location, as they contain a locator chip.
Yes, it’s a crazy, stupid, and wonderful idea, all at the same time. You would set up the app with your default pizza ordering criteria (toppings, crust type, et cetera) at any time, and then it’s ready to go when you want to push the button.
If you’re watching the NCAA Tournament basketball games the next few weeks, you can expect to see plenty of Pizza Hut commercials during the games featuring former Duke basketball star Grant Hill wearing the shoes.
Oh, Those Crazy Pizza Hut Marketers
If you think ordering pizza with shoes sounds like more of a marketing gimmick than a useful tool, you’re right. And the gimmicky part of the idea becomes more obvious when you learn that Pizza Hut has announced the shoes will not be for sale anywhere. Instead, the restaurant chain plans to make only 64 pairs of basketball shoes, possibly giving a few pairs away as part of a contest at some point in the future.
This isn’t Pizza Hut’s first marketing ploy around tech. You can order from Pizza Hut via smartphone app, Facebook Messenger, the Amazon Alexa personal assistant, and via Twitter. In the UK, Pizza Hut announced a pizza box with DJ controls that works over Bluetooth to send audio to a smartphone.
The Pie Tops are a fun idea, but I’ll be truly impressed when the company figures out how to send me a pizza via a Star Trek-like transporter. Beam me up a pizza, Scotty. Extra cheese, please.