BY ROB MCGOWAN, STRATEGY DIRECTOR.
I’m a fan of sports in general, but my favourite has to be college basketball and for fans of this particular niche March is the best time of year. Featuring two significant tournaments – the NIT and the premier NCAA – as well as a number of lower divisional tournaments, the month is a wall to wall basketball fest known as “March Madness”. In my youth I spent many an evening lacing up the sneakers and hitting the courts before heading home to watch the games. I’m also a fan of pizza. In fact, combining wall to wall basketball coverage with pizza was something that became a bit of a religion for me when I lived in the states.
Imagine my delight then when I discovered that Pizza Hut have made some basketball “Pie-tops” that order pizza for delivery simply by pressing a button on the tongue. That’s right, Pie Tops have a smart button inside the tongue, which connects to a user’s phone and the Pie Tops app via Bluetooth, allowing the user to instantly submit an order. Users can also customize what kind of a press will trigger an order. And consumers concerned about accidentally ordering pizzas can set the shoes to respond to a double press or a press and hold instead. The launch is spearheaded by Grant Hill ex college and NBA superstar and timed to blend perfectly with the 24/7 basketball coverage in the states this month. Check out the TV spot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVP3dyhnaLo&feature=youtu.be
It’s a great stunt, and who knows it may well catch on. The interesting thing is that this daft and fun idea has gathered media coverage from across the globe. Something that the much more serious – and to be honest, more useful - deployments of technology very often fail to do. It’s a nice example of content that has been well made, well timed, well targeted and deployed with a tongue in cheek (or shoe) attitude that is hard not to like. Here’s hoping brands and tech partners continue this throughout the other sporting and cultural events the year has to offer!