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Bollywood & the pizza war

July 08, 2005 13:31 IST

The latest Pizza Hut advertisement has the sensuous Malaika Arora scoffing at the comic duo -- Satish Shah and Boman Irani -- out to impress her by ordering a quick delivery pizza. She orders the newly introduced Freshizza instead.

The JWT ad takes a dig at Domino's 30-minute delivery promise. But Rakshit Hargave, director, marketing, Domino's Pizza India Ltd, is unruffled: "The Pizza Hut ad gives us free advertising. It only reinforces the Domino's brand value."

Last year, Domino's set the trend by roping in Bollywood brand ambassadors. It got Paresh Rawal to drive home its 'fastest delivery' point. Its more recent ad features Anupam Kher.

Pizza Hut soon signed Malaika Arora and Zaheer Khan. Inspired by the improved sales of the two pizza chains, Pizza Corner is also scouting for a brand ambassador.

Says Parag Dutta, chief operating officer, Global Franchise Architects which owns the Pizza Corner brand: "Our original plan was to get a celebrity but now we are looking at engaging a cartoon character."

Brand ambassadors help cut the clutter and get the brand across to the target consumers in the shortest time possible, says Hargave. The Domino's Paresh Rawal ad seems to have delivered on its promise.

The sales are up by 40 per cent, claims Hargave. The company, which spends Rs 10 crore (Rs 100 million) on advertising may rope in more Bollywood actors as brand ambassadors.

Pizza Hut, on the other hand, wanted a fresh face. Malaika Arora fitted the bill as "the Freshizza ad is aimed at drawing the female audience," says Pankaj Batra, director (marketing) at Pizza Hut. The brand will spend Rs 12 crore (Rs 120 million) on advertising. Pizza Corner, meanwhile, has earmarked Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million) for advertising.
Bridget S Leena & Prakriti Prasad in New Delhi
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