Little Caesars Pizza is testing the safe boundaries of advertising negative psychology with its ad campaign, pleading and warning consumers not to call the restaurant at a particular phone number or provide a personal email address. Playing on the well-known human pattern that curiosity will get the best of most folks, the pizza maker’s ad campaign essentially sends an eye-catching message trying to tell people to literally, “go away.”
With a bit of spin on the fact the Little Caesars Pizza has devoted itself since 1959 to cooking hot and tasty pizza dishes for takeout as well as side foods like garlic bread sticks, the company’s ad campaign throws both phone numbers and email fields at consumers and then tells them to avoid doing anything with the given information. This, of course, will get a good number of folks to do exactly the opposite and connect with the company anyways. The ad campaign couples actual phone listings and email with an apparently forbidden website, covering just about all the major public communication resources available.
Will They Come?
So will people call or connect? If the restaurant chain is still in the business of making money on pizzas, its employees should hope so. That said, the entire ad campaign is dipped in simple humor. When people actually call the listed phone number, they are then criticized by an answer message for again not doing what they were told and to avoid the company’s campaign website. That will likely capture any Internet traffic missed by the regular email and website marketing waves.
The Reward – No Payoff
So, if a consumer does everything he’s not supposed via phone call or website, and does submit an email, he will then learn he has been cursed. His house will now be haunted by spirits. Oh boy. Maybe the timing is off since it’s a bit early for Halloween yet. That said, after all the build-up, one would hope Little Caesars would have rewarded folks with a coupon discounting a pizza or two, but no such luck. Of course, the restaurant now sells large cheese or pepperoni pizzas for $5 each, so it’s not too much of a surprise that they don’t want to go cheaper.
The Bottom Line
Little Caesars ad campaign is framed in good humor and presents a nice study in predictable human behavior regarding curiosity and warnings. We are, habitually, the only species aside from monkeys that runs to trouble instead of away from it. Maybe, from a sociology science perspective Little Caesars has contributed a bit human education. That said, most of the business’ customers still just want a hot pizza for a good price.