Mr. Pizza, the largest pizza company in Korea, asked us to develop a marketing campaign that would pave its way for entry into the U.S. market, and at the same time increase its credibility back home. The challenge was to create relevance and intrigue in a saturated market that would be very skeptical of pizza coming from Asia.
To accomplish this feat, we concepted and executed a complex unbranded story about the “True Origins” of pizza through the use of highly choreographed digital + social media. What resulted was an award winning campaign that gave Mr. Pizza international acclaim and unprecedented awareness in the states.
Building an Unbranded Viral Campaign
It all started with a short documentary-style web film introducing the notion that Italy actually stole pizza from Korea.
To make the film believable, we fabricated the companies and characters referenced in the film through a connected ecosystem of web properties, including company pages, blogs, social media properties and e-commerce stores. We uploaded and back-dated factually supportive multimedia content.
We utilized gorilla posting stickers + posters tagged with QR codes to build intrigue for the story. We also partnered with Sharethrough to insurgently seed the documentary to bloggers, reporters and cultural influencers.
The documentary was immediately popular and controversial. We stoke the flames by dialing up and down the creative touch points, joining in the dialogue and revealing different truths as the story unfolded.
Far Surpassing Campaign Goals
The film went viral, racking up over 2.2 million views in the first month, and was independently translated into several languages by fans around the world. It was shared widely across social networks and was written about extensively, generating over $2 million in unpaid media. The cultural nuances in the documentary ensured that it even became fodder for academics; a sociologist at Victoria University wrote a 9,000-word piece analyzing the cultural nuance and subtext in the campaign (media list below).
More importantly, the Mr. Pizza campaign accomplished the impossible– it gave Korean pizza a legitimate spot on the American plate. And at the same time, the campaign earned a Korean pizza company national acclaim for its daring and progressive marketing strategy (awards list below).
- Cannes Lions (bronze lion)
- The One Show (silver pencil)
- AdFest Asia (gold lotus)
- OMMA Award (winner)
- Webby Award (short list)
- Wall Street Journal
- Washington Post
- Ad Week
- Serious Eats
- Meta Filter
- Laughing Squid
- Japan Focus