Cats + Pizza = Japanese Pizza Hut Commercial  

Not too long ago, in a piece that ran on The Cat Channel, I expressed my surprise – and confusion– over the recent trend of pairing cats with pizza. The pizza cat so to speak (a few examples below). Am I the only who didn’t realize this was a “thing”?

Pizza cats

left to right: hottopic.com, myplaceisbetterthanyours.com, Etsy, Redbubble

 

It seems the jokes on me. The folks at Pizza Hut in Japan have taken the trend and run with it – more like sprinted with it actually – by launching an advertising campaign comprised of an all-cat cast to sell what else – pizza.

Japanese Pizza Hut Campaign

The new campaign is currently made-up of twelve commercials and many are quite amusing. Here are a few of my person favorites:

Taking phone orders

Writing reports

Cleaning shop

Is this idea completely insane or insanely cute?  I can’t help but take my “cat hat” off for a moment given the years I spent in the advertising field and express my surprise that these spots were ever made.

Why? Well primarily, because Pizza Hut is owned Yum! Brands, Inc., a US based company who operates brands the likes of Taco Bell and KFC.  And most American companies are pretty formulaic when it comes to the creation of food-related commercials. They love food shots. Food is the main attraction – the “hero” so to speak – of the commercial.

Japanese campaign for Pizza Hut with cats

Surprise! The Japanese spots never show a pizza. No bubbling fresh from the oven pizza shots, no long strings of cheese as a slice is pulled away from the pie shots, no happy Japanese faces enjoying Pizza Hut’s pizza. Not even a pizza dough throw (though I imagine that would be hard to pull off with cats). Just a few illustration at the end of what I have to believe are supposed to be pizzas. Not so very appetizing.

So while the spots are entertaining and the cats adorable as ever, I have to wonder if the campaign will actually boost sales for the chain. Then again, we are talking about a country with a pretty massive cat obsession.

Japan's fascination with cats

From left to right clockwise: Cat Cafe; Sushi Cat; Maru; Cat Ears for Humans. Center: Young Japanese girl dressed as cat.

 

What do you think? Are the spots successful in getting you to remember Pizza Hut or merely entertaining? Can you picture them running stateside? Which one’s your favorite?

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  • LarryC

    I wonder what Happy Cat would say if he was used to promote cheezburgers?

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CzqzzBV2tMk/TxBM3ar18MI/AAAAAAAAPm0/6faLPO9BM8w/s1600/i-can-has-cheezburger.jpg

  • Birgit K.

    Interesting approach. Pair recognisable jingle with cute cats (I’m not too happy about dressing them up, but at least one of them purred) and therefore build an association with a certain pizza brand. Show this often enough, and maybe it will work at an almost subliminal level.

  • We think that humans realize the huge presence cats have ,especially on the internet.
    They also realize how popular cats are and how people love cats.
    They are seizing the opportunity to cash in.
    Some things are cute, some are plain strange!

    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ

  • Leah

    Well, we are talking about Japan – all of their TV shows and commercials are seemingly from another planet. I’m more dismayed at the fact that the Japanese are eating pizza. Japanese cuisine is one of my favorite. It pains me that some are choosing pizza instead – American pizza at that.

  • jmuhj

    Yeah, junk food and clothes for cats=big turnoff. But the ads are cute, because Japanese culture and cats=kawaii 😉

  • Let Japan stay in Japan … I’ll stick with America

  • Cats and Pizza. Can’t go wrong.

  • Debbie Schmidt

    My cats fight over who will sleep on the pizza hut box. Sometimes I can’t even get the pizza out fast enough! 😉

  • The Japanese approach to marketing is really different than it is in the Western world. You can also see this in their approach to movie-making. Not wrong, but very different. We like both!

  • ok…great column n i think anything’s better with cats lol but i can no longer eat pizza, one of my favorite foods, and now after reading your pizza making description….i’m totally craving pizza! LOL darnit!!

  • I love it because it’s so “cat-like” – a.k.a., nothing much happens! I think it works on a subliminal level, too. But please, take off the hats!

  • Cat and pizza are two of my favorite things in the world! I think anything showing cats off in a good light is always a good thing.

  • I like the cat riding the Roomba best. The commercials are cute and I think they will sell pizza.

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  • Best ideas and really amazing look of pizza. We should adopt latest fashion which give a pretty look to our body.Thanks for sharing this awesome.