Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, April 29, 2021

Try to follow along here:

To introduce their new non-pizza offerings, Pizza Hut had some fun with an April Fool’s announcement that it was rebranding itself as “Pasta Hut”.

As a follow-up to this campaign, it’s been running a TV commercial to promote these new dishes, called Tuscani Pastas. The spot follows a time-honored format — hidden-camera taste-testing — but with a questionable wrinkle:

The commercial purports to gather unwitting eaters to try the food at Tuscani in New York, and then revealing to them on hidden camera that in fact it’s Pizza Hut pasta, not Tuscani’s pasta.

As far as I can tell, there’s no Tuscani restaurant in New York. Although it’s a pretty effective ad, it seems to me that if they made up the whole thing it’s particularly egregious, even for the advertising world.

No Tuscani’s, but no problem:

The people were invited to an actual restaurant that is named Provence, he adds, but [according to ad agency BBDO] “we intentionally did not reveal the name and instead outfitted the restaurant as ‘Tuscani’ to reinforce our new product launch.”…

True, the fact that the restaurant is presented as if it is named Tuscani is not factually accurate. But I believe that it falls within the realm of artistic license, particularly since the campaign has already used an element of imaginary name-changing.

But wait, it gets even more convoluted:

One final note, dear readers. The New York Times reported that the restaurant Provence was scheduled to close last week and reopen in May under a new name, Hundred Acres. Maybe Pizza Hut could ask the owners to rename it Tuscani — at least long enough for folks to stop by for a pasta dinner.

So basically, the restaurant on TV is a fake makeover of a real NYC restaurant, which is itself now “fake” in the sense that it’s no longer open — but is in the process of getting a real makeover/rebirth.

Throw in the French/Italian/fast food cuisine switcheroos at play here, and my head hurts. On top of that, my stomach’s growling.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/29/2008 01:02:49 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food, New Yorkin'
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