Entering China in 1990 shortly after China the country opened their doors to foreign companies, Pizza Hut introduced pizzas to Chinese consumers. To many people in China, Pizza Hut is synonymous with pizzas.
Post-90s, on the other hand, are younger than Pizza Hut itself in China. They prefer more personalisation, a more appealing environment, and better tasting artisan pizzas.
Mindshare was facing the classic case of how to help a classic brand appeal to a younger generation again. Mobile gaming, an activity that more than 60% of post-90s are obsessed with, is a great way to approach the young audience. But how to do it in a way that’s non-cliché and truly be impactful, both to business and to gamers?
Through the agency's research, it found a unique insight: While most mobile game types are good to play alone, there is one exception – multiple player battle games. These games are better to play together with fellow gamers in an offline location because they require team strategy and seamless coordination. Playing together offline also give gamers a sense of brotherhood.
This could be a perfect opportunity for Pizza Hut.
Among all the multiple player battle games, King of Glory is one of the most popular, having nearly 40 million daily active users.
Pizza Hut’s Chinese name Bi Sheng Ke, literally translating into Must Win Guest, which was perfect. Who doesn’t want to be always on the winning team in gaming?
The strategy was to let Pizza Hut become the social enabler for the gaming community, and make it the first place gamers think of when they are looking for a place offline to play mobile games together.
Working hand in hand directly with the team at King of Glory, the agency created a location-based in game targeting system.
Whenever any King of Glory player went anywhere within a five minutes radius of a Pizza Hut store, it would push a notification to them, inviting them to form teams at the nearest Pizza Hut. The notification roughly translated read “Play everywhere, but come to Pizza Hut to be must win!”
After they clicked into the game, they would see which other gamers are around the area, and form a team.
Pizza Hut stores were decorated with elements from the game, even with cosplayers dressed as characters from the game.
Once they were in the Pizza Hut store, it provided them a gamer only Wi-Fi so that they had the best gaming experience.
It also gave players a limited edition in-game theme that can only be redeemed once they finished team games in store as an additional incentive. As one of the gamers explained, limited edition themes for gamers are like limited edition bags for girls. Everyone likes collecting them.
In 20 days, over 100,000 gamers rushed into the Pizza Hut stores and played King of Glory in Pizza Hut stores, two times more than what was originally expected.
Over 150,000 limited edition King of Glory special meal sets were sold out, each valued at RMB 213, resulting in a total value of 32 million RMB (USD 4.4 million), a staggering 900% ROI!
But most importantly, Pizza Hut established affinity among young gamers. 50% of gamers plan to go to Pizza Hut and play the game offline even after the campaign is over. (Source: Weibo, CI)