What started as a silly Facebook post is turning into a perfume cooked up by the creative folks at Pizza Hut. We can all learn from how this experiment played out.
Business Insider reports managers of the pizza chain posted to Facebook the idea of creating a pizza smelling perfume in August. Fans of Pizza Hut responded favorably to the tongue-in-cheek post. A subsequent post to gauge interest in receiving a sample produced thousands of responses in less than an hour. So, Pizza Hut worked with an ad agency to develop a fragrance that smells like pizza. 100 of those who expressed interest in the perfume on Facebook will receive a bottle of the new smell-good.
You can do something similar on a much-smaller scale. It doesn’t require hiring an ad agency to develop some expensive creative piece for you. Think about what stands out about your business. What do people associate with your business? How can you replicate the experience that is most distinguishable about your business? Ask yourself those questions; then use social media to engage your audience. The Pizza Hut folks identified the smell of pizza as something unique that people generally find attractive. Keep in mind, the Pizza Hut smell is unique from other foods, not necessarily unique from others in the same industry. They then created buzz during the summer with just a couple Facebook posts and are now getting attention for this crafty marketing ploy.
The chain did this not to get into the fragrance business, but to get people to talk about Pizza Hut. Mission accomplished. Type “Pizza Hut” into the news section of any search engine and you see countless articles and posts on this marketing effort. The fragrance concept is a great use of social media as it provides engagement with followers, generates news coverage, and produces water cooler talk. And, at no point was it a deliberate sales pitch. Contrary to stories that Facebook is dead for advertising, this experiment proves the site can be used for creative, unconventional means of marketing.
I just love the originality and marketing buzz that results from this Pizza Hut experiment. I hope this can serve as a case study for other companies (big and small) to come up with their own creative campaign using a social media channel.