Pizza Hut perfume reeks of failure
This marketing ploy scent can't mask Yum Brands' slumping fortunes in China -- or previous fast-food cologne missteps.
Ever wish you could bottle the scents of frozen dough, cheese product, corn oil, resignation and the interior of a beat-up '96 Hyundai Excel all into one date-night fragrance?
Yum Brands (YUM) offshoot Pizza Hut Canada's marketing team did. With no National Hockey League games this year, these are desperate days for our friends to the north, and their local Pizza Hut wants to harvest their untapped passion one spritz at a time.
After trolling their Facebook (FB) followers with questions about the scent of a Pizza Hut box being opened, Pizza Hut Canada took the positive responses of kind and charitable Canadians and turned them into 110 bottles of Eau de Pizza Hut. Given the short and unfortunate track record of novelty scents, Pizza Hut Perfume wearers should get used to the smell of impending disaster.
Back in 2008, Burger King (BKW) tried a similar tongue-in-cheek marketing ploy when it introduced a meat-scented men's body spray called Flame by BK. It was available at select New York City stores and on a dedicated Burger King website, smelled like a Whopper and was described as "the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat."
At the time, Burger King really had a thing for the 18-to-35 year-old male demographic and made every attempt to woo the bros with giant burger specials, beer-peddling BK Whopper Bar outlets and its silent funnyman mascot The King. Burger cologne was just another LOL piece of its as-seen-in-Maxim approach to sales.
It all went up in flames during the financial crisis, as cash-strapped dudes fled for more frugal pastures and long-unwanted consumers like children, women and older diners ignored Burger King altogether. By 2010, owner TPG Capital wanted to scrub the reek of Burger King off its books and sold the company for more than $3 billion. That same year, its BKC ticker symbol disappeared as the company went private.
It took Burger King another two years to sanitize the stench of its shortcomings. It just saw same-store sales increase last quarter, has begun shifting company-owned stores to private franchisees and has welcomed back women, kids and seniors with low-priced smoothies, sweet potato fries and premium sandwiches filled with pulled pork and chicken. When it's in the mood for a good old-fashioned gimmick these days, it skews more practical by offering amenities like delivery instead of dollar-store scents.
It's not that there isn't a place for funky scents. Fragrance maker Demeter has produced Play-Doh-branded perfume that smells like the modeling clay and Hello Kitty perfume that doesn't smell like Japanese cartoon cat, but like apples and other things from its world. They're fun and out of context, but do little to divert people's attention back to Hasbro (HAS) or Sanrio, which make the non-perfume versions of both items.
Besides, if Pizza Hut parent company Yum Brands really wanted to turn its scent into more sales, it would start spraying around perfume counters in China instead of Canada. Yum Brands' profit jumped 19% last quarter with a lot of help from China, where 83% of its stores are company-owned. The company's not so optimistic about future profits, as an overall economic slowdown in China is taking a toll on Pizza Hut sales.
Even a perfume with faint hints of a meat-lover's special can't mask the stench when your numbers stink.
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How about a KFC hair gel that's actually chicken grease; hey guys that'll bring the chicks.
OMG.....I can't believe shidt like this is happening...Has YUM brands went over the cliff before everyone else....Or is it really something to do with China..?
Used to eat in several burgers joints or other "greasey spoons"...And the odor would stay in the car/truck for hours...No hiding the Bar smells from the wifey at home either.
Never sit near the fryer or grill...
Life is great!
Chris Van Hollen & Elizabeth Warren in 2016 & 2020!
God bless America!
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