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March Madness Goes Mobile

By Dennis Jones

March Madness

March Madness is here. I know, seems like the Super Bowl was just yesterday. And with March Madness comes another golden opportunity for big brand advertisers to market their wares to rapt sports fanatics and their guests who’re just in it for the beer and pizza. Well, fellow pizza lovers, forget the basketball, this month is for you, as March madness goes mobile.

Big pizza chains have long gone to creative extremes to get buyers to order pizza. This time, taking a page from the merger of digital culture and street style, Pizza Hut is outdoing itself, launching a new line of what they call Pizza Tops. No, pizza tops aren’t pizza pies; they’re just a very cool way to order pies. Pizza Tops are, in fact, Pizza Hut’s very own high-top sneakers. They come embedded with geolocation capabilities that allow wearers to order a pizza and have it delivered on the spot. The button, conveniently located in the tongue of the shoe, connects you to the Pizza Tops app, which then orders you the pizza. March madness goes mobile like never before.

Before you think that Pizza Hut is trying to give Nike and others in the shoe business a run for their money, they’re not. The shoes are limited edition, very limited. Only 64 will be handmade by a customer sneaker maker to match the 64 teams that compete in March Madness. In their latest March Madness ad, Pizza Hut had NBA legend Grant Hill sporting the sneaks, as he ordered a pizza at a discounted rated. So just think of the shoes as slick, mobile billboards that will go to talking heads and other influencers.

The bigger point is that traditionally brick and mortar brands like Pizza Hut see the necessity of showcasing how easy it is to order their stuff on mobile devices, like phones, tablets and laptops.

First, delivery displaced pick up. Then with the advent of mobile apps, we didn’t have to speak to anybody when we ordered our pizza. Now, as March Madness goes mobile, we don’t even have to pick up a device, just press a button on your connected garment.

Eat that up.