Pizza Hut Counts on TMNT Promos to Boost Sluggish Sales

Pizza Hut, struggling to keep its position as one of the major players in the $39 billion pizza industry, is desperately seeking ways to boost sales in a tight market. Pizza Hut's parent company, Yum Brands, reported that Pizza Hut's sales at stores open for one year or more fell 3 percent in the second quarter. This drop was unexpected, since analysts were actually anticipating a 0.1% increase for this time period.

To combat sluggish sales and rising competition from rivals like Domino's Pizza, Pizza Hut has been aggressively marketing new products. The company has partnered with the producers of the newest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film in a clever effort to boost pizza sales while promoting the flick scheduled to hit theaters on August 8. The promotion should come as no surprise to avid TMNT fans, since Pizza Hut had similar partnerships when previous TMNT movies were released in 1990, 1991, and 1993.

For a limited time, you can order Cheesy Bites Pizzas in four flavors inspired by your favorite Ninja Turtle. If you want to take the experience one step further (or if you're just really hungry!), you can ask for your pizza to be "Katana cut" into four turtle-sized slices.

  • Michelangelo's favorite pizza features seasoned pepperoni, smoked ham, sweet pineapple, and spicy jalapenos.
  • Donatello's favorite pizza features grilled white meat chicken, white mushrooms, green peppers, and diced Roma tomatoes.
  • Leonardo's favorite pizza features sweet red onions, Mediterranean black olives, green peppers, and white mushrooms.
  • Raphael's favorite pizza features seasoned pepperoni, Italian sausage, hardwood smoked bacon, and crumbled beef.
Each pizza sells for $13.99. To date, Pizza Hut reports that the Raphael Pizza is the most popular of the limited time menu items.

Pizza Hut has also created a real life version of the TMNT Pizza Thrower featured throughout the franchise, complete with a 16 foot roasting canon. At Comic-Con, the Pizza Thrower tossed fake pizzas into the crowd to urge visitors to stop into their local Pizza Hut.

To general social media buzz, Pizza Hut is hosting a #TBTMNT (Throwback Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) campaign. You can share your favorite memories of the TMNT franchise via Twitter and Instagram for a chance to win gift cards and other prizes.

If the TMNT aren't your thing or you just want to top off your meal with a tasty dessert, Pizza Hut is also introducing what is being referred to by some as a pizza cookie. Officially known as the Ultimate Hershey's Chocolate Chip Cookie, this new dessert measures eight inches in diameter and is cut into eight slices. It's available for $4.99 with the purchase of a pizza or $5.99 if you want to skip the meal and head straight for dessert. writes, "This is a seriously large cookie. Serious chocolate. Serious chips. Seriously chewy."

Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut.