I’ve been working as an associate editor covering various wireless design gadgets, systems, and other innovative accessories for a couple weeks now. I’ve come across some really fascinating topics for blog and news posts during that time but after coming across this, I officially think I’ve seen it all.
Correlating with the beginning of the NCAAs March Madness basketball tournament, Pizza Hut (the official pizza partner of the NCAA) has introduced a pair of sneakers called Pie Tops that can be used to literally order you a pizza. Users (or wearers of the sneakers) can place their order by pressing a button that’s on the tongue of their shoe, which uses Bluetooth to connect the user to a downloadable cellphone app called the Pie Tops App. Using geolocation technology to pinpoint the exact coordinates of the user, the app confirms with the customer if their order is correct and their current location is where they want the delivery to be made.
“We went into this with a specific activation around March Madness in mind, but there’s been a considerable amount of excitement around the shoes, but we’re going to see where we go from here,” says David Daniels, Pizza Hut’s vice president of advertising and media. “The shoes are designed to highlight how easy it is to order from Pizza Hut. Based on the excitement we’ve got so far, the sky is the limit on what we may come up with next.”
Pizza Hut tapped the creative agency Droga5, which partnered with designer Dominic Chambrone (known as the Shoe Surgeon) to develop the shoes. Unfortunately, Pizza Hut has no plans to mass-produce Pie Tops and are only coming out with 64 pairs. Although regular consumers will have opportunities to win a pair of Pie Tops through contests and other organized events, these shoes will be primarily distributed to celebrities, athletes, and media influencers.
“The promotion of sending 64 pairs of handmade shoes to each team is a huge gimmick that will hopefully gain lots of attention,” says Craig Weichmann, founder of Weichmann & Associates—an investment banking consultancy specializing in restaurants. “Just one or two basketball players have to push the button to make this pay off in spades.”
Instead of revolutionizing the way consumers can order pizza, Pie Tops are primarily being used to promote the Pizza Hut brand. This marketing tactic is largely in response to Pizza Hut’s sluggish fourth-quarter, during which the company experienced a four percent decline in sales. This isn’t the first outside-the-box design product from Pizza Hut. They’ve developed “the world’s first playable DJ pizza box,” which is essentially a pizza box with built-in speakers, and have numerous platforms to place orders on through Facebook, Amazon Echo, and mobile apps.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)