Pizza Hut Responds to Papa John’s $11.00 Super Bowl Pizza Deal

28 Jan

As the biggest day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday, approaches for the pizza industry, Papa John’s fired the first national marketing campaign. About two weeks ago, the pizza giant started advertising any large pizza for $11.00. Full disclosure: Last night, I enjoyed a Papa John’s $11.00 chicken, pepperoni, and tomato pizza. Papa John’s undoubtedly started the $11.00 promotion in anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl. The company started the campaign early to increase awareness about its newest promotion.  While first-mover has its advantages, it also allows competitors to react.

Pizza Hut decided it wasn’t going to sit around and watch Mr. John’s repeatedly remind America that any Papa John’s pizza was only $11.00. As I was watching the Kentucky-LSU basketball game, I saw Pizza Hut’s new commercial; the message: Any large Pizza Hut pizza for $10.00! Pizza Hut undercut Papa John’s price by $1.00. Now, I have some questions:

1) Do you think the $1.00 savings, and low price position, will increase sales for Pizza Hut? While the company’s margins will take a hit, will the company be able to make up the difference through high volume sales?

2) Does Domino’s have to respond in order to be a player in the pizza wars? If so, what’s the best strategy? $9.00 pizza or two pizzas for $15.00?

It should be interesting watching the response as Super Bowl Sunday gets closer.

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