No one outpizzas the Hut: a “braver” and “bolder” Pizza Hut will return to its classic red-roof logo design in the name of nostalgia. “It’s about celebrating where we came from,” Pizza Hut chief brand officer Marianne Radley told Nation’s Restaurant News.
Radley added the brand has been “polite and shy” about its legacy as a Plano, Texas-based chain founded in 1958, and that Pizza Hut will roll out its new logo during a national TV campaign. The logo will then make its way onto packaging, including pizza boxes, and appear during NFL promotions in the fourth quarter of the year; a transition to the classic look will roll out on digital platforms over coming weeks.
The throwback logo will first appear in a TV ad campaign advertising the limited-time return of Cheesy Bites Pizza.
“We have to be a little braver, a little bolder in our choices,” said Radley. Yum Brands’ Pizza Hut sales performance have been “sluggish,” Nation’s Restuarant News previously reported, and the nostalgic-tinged marketing program is the result of market research sessions with consumers that revealed guests “responded enthusiastically” when met with such legacy brand features as red-roof restaurants and red-and-white checkered tablecloths.
Strong guest reception to such classic elements gave Pizza Hut “permission to be bold,” Radley added, allowing the Hut to shout out it’s the “OG of the pizza category.”
Of the Cheesy Bites Pizza, which first reached customers in 2016, “we get a lot of fervor over it,” Radley said. “It’s a nice pizza for sharing.”
The limited time offering is perfect for showcasing the reimagined Pizza Hut when it dusts off the logo it used in the 1960s and 1970s, Radley said.
The brand’s current logo features the classic Pizza Hut roof, depicted in white instead of red, within a red circle accompanied by white text. The throwback logo brings back the iconic red roof with bold, black text, which makes the “brand pop,” Radley said.
“Red roof is an iconic asset,” Radley added. “It’s a brand tone change, not an infrastructure change.”