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Little Caesars Pizza Says ‘Go Away,’ Seriously!

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.

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