Love is in the air…or maybe it’s just pizza I’m smelling.
News recently broke that Pizza Hut has released an intriguing new temporary revenue stream: the Pizza Hut Engagement Package, which includes the company’s $10 dinner box (a medium one-topping regular pan pizza, five breadsticks with marinara sauce, and 10 cinnamon sticks with a sweet icing cup).That the pizza conglomerate is offering a Valentine’s Day special is no surprise. After all, what’s more traditional than sharing a romantic dinner with your valentine? But what is unusual is the engagement package’s $10,010 price tag, which includes costs for a ruby ring, limo service, flowers, a fireworks show, a photographer, and a videographer. Although some may raise eyebrows over Pizza Hut’s foray into romance, a company spokesperson reports that Pizza Hut has already received over 800 serious inquiries.
I think Pizza Hut’s over-the-top new pet project was a brilliantly thought-out guerilla marketing tactic. But the marriage of food and engagements (sorry) seems to be, well, a match made in heaven—and an opportunity that has been seized by marketers for years.
The Algonquin Hotel in NYC , for example, mixes up a $10,000 Proposal Martini with a diamond ring dropped in the glass to surprise a prospective paramour. Not to be outdone, the Fairmont in Pittsburgh ups the ante and offers not only the “Martini on a Rock”, but also a one-night bedroom suite reservation, champagne, chocolates, and a romantic dinner for two.
Prefer something sweeter? Gourmet Cupcakes has a $55,000 cupcake topped with an 8-carat diamond ring, as well as free cupcake catering for the wedding.
The wedding industry is booming (purported to be worth $54.8 billion by 2015) so it’s no wonder that consumers are feeling the pressure to go all-out with splashier proposals than ever before. What these proposal packages show is that there is an alternative to the traditional vertical and horizontal integration models of the market: hopscotch-ing to alternative revenue streams that might not at first glance seem related, but actually seem to go together like . . . the old ball ‘n chain.
Plus, with Valentine’s Day spending expected to rise 8.5% this year, who can blame Pizza Hut for wanting to grab a piece of that pie?
About Joy Thomas
Joy is a strategist for Motiv and spearheads business development and marketing efforts in addition to supporting client engagements.