AUCKLAND, NZ: Pizza and zombies - not a combination that immediately leaps to mind, but then Hell Pizza is not a company that adheres to the conventions of its category.
Brand names in the pizza delivery sector tend to be fairly uninspiring. Outside of the big brand names like Dominos and Pizza Hut, most cities around the world are home to at least one pizza delivery firm with a vaguely Italian sounding name. Hell pizza had already marked itself out from the crowd with its unusual name, but when it came to engaging its consumers it still needed something different.
Most food delivery companies focus on their products. TV and online activity tends to be little more than another expression of the outlet's menu, but Hell Pizza recognised that online orders tickets were on average 30% more than telephone orders - so devised a purely online strategy to shift consumers from their phone to their laptop.
What separated Hell Pizza's viral video was the interactive element. In "Deliver Me to Hell", viewers watched as the brave Steve attempted to cross a city full of zombies to deliver his pizza. At the end of each clip, viewers were given a choice of what should happen next, sometimes sending Steve and his consignment of pizza margaritas to a gruesome end.
Anyone who could successfully direct Steve safely through the zombies received a voucher for free bottles of Coke, and they were entered into a draw to win a year's supply of free pizza - powerful incentive to complete the mission!
"The first point of the campaign was to make a wicked innovative adventure online that had never been done before, and the second was to drive sales", said a Hell director Stu McMullin. "Hell Pizza has always been a tech forerunner and we employed good local kiwi talent and directors. In NZ we are one of the largest online companies. We average 22% online for total pizza sales and 35% of that is in town centres. Our web average ticket is 30% more in value - so we are all about getting customers online."
Since the campaign started Hell have seen a strong spike in sales online and of those people that were ordering and using the free coke vouchers, 43% were new customers.