Friday, February 13, 2009

Truth in Advertising - Pizza Hut

OK, Pizza Hut. Cut the crap. Do you think we’re idiots? First there were the people you supposedly fooled into thinking that your Chocolate Dunkers were some fancy French dessert, then there were the New Yorkers you allegedly duped into thinking that your pasta dishes were from an authentic Italian restaurant. But now you’ve taken your foolishness abroad and insulted a whole other country. At one point in new commercial for your Tuscani lasagna, which is purportedly filmed in Rome, Italy, the subtitles translate a young Italian man commenting on your lasagna, saying, “It reminds me of my mom’s." Poor Mama. That’ll kill her. But I have some bad news for you, Pizza Hut. Nobody with even minimal brain activity believes for a second that you fooled a group of real Italians—in ITALY—with your lasagna. I've had your lasagna. I'm not even Italian and I know better. And the video on your website showing the behind-the-scenes footage is mind-numbing. Are we to believe that, in this time of economic uncertainty, corporate layoffs, and stimulus packages, your marketing folks sanctioned a trip to Rome for your chefs, director, crew, and creative team? That you basically remodeled an abandoned “century-old” restaurant, including hidden cameras, microphones, and a control room filled with high-dollar audio and video monitoring equipment? That you flew your pizza ovens to Rome, freaking Italy? Do you really want us to believe that you did all of this to make a thirty second commercial? Ok, let’s assume for a moment that you did do all of the above. Let’s say you did spend an obscene amount of money on air fare (or did you fly in the corporate jet?), a block of hotel rooms, actors, translators, and materials to remodel a restaurant—not to mention the laborers to do it. I can’t help but ask, what is wrong with you people? With the economy in the crapper, unemployment at it’s highest since the Great Depression, and people scraping and scrimping to get by, you decide to jaunt off to Italy to make a freaking commercial? Why not invest that money in ways to make your menu items more affordable so that those folks without income can afford to eat at your restaurants occasionally instead of spending another night at home with a bologna sandwich and Ramen noodles? Do you still have those translators on speed dial? Translate this: Baci il mio asino!