Ad Rant: Pizza Hut Tuscani Pizza

November 13, 2009
By | 5 Comments

Because nobody watches commercials anymore, Antenna keeps track of what you may have missed while pushing those three triangles rightward.

This week’s ad:  Pizza Hut Tuscani Pasta

It’s no secret we are, as Ali G so delicately put it, a nation of “fatty boom-booms”.   And anyone who’s flipped through that Michael Pollan book their aunt gave them as a birthday gift knows that the profits of AMERICAN FATTY FOOD INC. have been plateauing.  Yes, we’ve become much more informed about what we put into our bodies (thanks interwebs!), marginally less lazy (thanks, Jillian and Bob!), but making Americans fat is an industry with limited long-term growth prospects.  Gillette will be ok because hair never stops growing, but our stomachs can only expand so much.

So what do our favorite fatteries do?  Strategies vary wildly.  Some have said, “F*ck it, we know you’re weak.”  Others assuage your guilt with apple slices to get you to the door, knowing you’ll switch to the quarter-pounder with extra McFlurry once inside.  The most insidious strategy, though, is polishing that turd ’til it shines real good.  Sure sure, Subway, I’ll eat at one of your “restaurants” when I’m in a pinch.  But I will never be lazy enough to call Pizza Hut and ask them to deliver a trough full of leftover dough that’s been cut into spirals and slathered with peppery ketchup.  I will never ask by name for a food-like product whose main descriptor (“Tuscani”), like its “recipe”, has little basis in reality.  Most importantly, I will not swerve out of the way if any of these discerning diners steps in front of my car.


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5 Responses to “ Ad Rant: Pizza Hut Tuscani Pizza ”

  1. Jonathan Gray on November 13, 2009 at 11:25 AM

    I yield my comment to The Onion:
    (including the great line, “it looks like something no animal should consume, let alone a human being”)

    Mind you, I think The Fat Sandwich Company here in Madison has already started such experiments 🙂

  2. Chris Becker on November 13, 2009 at 12:48 PM

    My favorite part of those ads is how amazed people are when they’re told it’s Pizza Hut, thus implying that people usually associate Pizza Hut with really shitty food. Not the best tactic on Pizza Hut’s part, if you ask me.

    • Jonathan Gray on November 13, 2009 at 2:00 PM

      Agreed, Chris. Though they also seem to encourage viewers to think about how low the customers’ standards are to confuse Pizza Hut for anything better. So, we know that PH has shitty food and caters to those who don’t know any better: what a great campaign!

  3. Josh David Jackson on November 13, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    A recent Slate article ( contemplating Arby’s poor performance argued that success for a fast food chain these days depends largely on a) clear brand/product awareness and b) addressing concerns over healthy eating (the latter, though, may be just a means through which to repair a tarnished brand image). This ad campaign (is it still active?) really does the opposite in both cases.

  4. Nick Marx on November 13, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Yeah, I know this one is a bit old now. The current iteration takes place in Buffalo where people are shocked, SHOCKED to find out they’re eating Pizza Hut buffalo wings.