A Pizza Hut in Tokyo is taking the word "kawaii" to... well, maybe not a whole new level, but it is covering the branch's windows, doors, and just about everything else in images from a popular manga/anime. Long Live pizza!
For the next month or so, the Pizza Hut branch in the Kanda neighborhood of Tokyo will be the "Otonokizaka branch," plastered top to bottom with images from Long Live!
The popular manga/anime series covers the tale of a group of schoolgirls – of course – who become pop idols in order to save their beloved academy from being shut down.
This, of course, makes them the perfect mascots for the Kanda Pizza Hut, as the neighborhood is located in Akihabara, which according to Kotaku is Tokyo's famed "geek and electronics district." Consequently, just about everything involving the Kanda Pizza Hut is covered in Long Live! imagery. That includes the motorized delivery vehicles, the storefront itself, the delivery windows, and the pizza boxes, which feature the Long Live! girls kawaii-ing it out around a cartoon pizza, with a couple of them wearing Pizza Hut employee outfits to boot.
Twitter user @kaztsu snapped pictures of the resulting Pizza Hut gear, and it's a bit hard to tell that there's a pizza delivery service buried under the tiny hats, short skirts, and stockings, but apparently there is. The promotion will run until March 30, when the Kanda Pizza Hut will return to normal.
Americans are no strangers to promotional tie-ins, as the release of just about any new Disney cartoon or summer blockbuster will see Pizza Huts pushing Despicable Me Edition Supremes or something to that effect. Still, it's a bit rare to see a location made over so heavily – down to the delivery vehicles, even. In the rush to cater to Japan's otaku population, though, it's a relatively tame move.
Around a year ago, Domino's Pizza Japan introduced an iPhone app that turned their pizza boxes into a performance stage for a virtual anime idol, one Hatsune Miku. The alternate reality app also allowed users to pose for pictures with the anime songstress. Pizza Hut's draping of one location in anime schoolgirl imagery seems almost tame by comparison. Almost.
American Pizza Huts aren't necessarily decking themselves out top to bottom in cartoon schoolgirls, but they'll go to some lengths to increase brand awareness. When West Chester University declined to cut Jack Lavery a $10,000 check over a technicality in a trick basketball shot contest, the Hut hit him off with the prize money plus a year's worth of free Pizza Hut pizzas.
Around Valentine's Day, the chain also pushed a #CommitToGreatness campaign, wherein it solicited the most creative proposal ideas from Pizza Hut fans. Not human-to-human proposals, though; human-to-Pizza Hut proposals. Because people send messages to Pizza Hut all the time, asking for its hand in marriage. No, really.