"Hut One, Hut Two"


In what has to be the biggest mistake in a ‘minor’ rebranding since the SciFi announced it was becoming the SyFy,
scifisyfyfofumthe folks at Yum! Brands (the ! is part of the company name), the same people who have been trying to make you forget that KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken for over a decade, is now bringing you “The Hut”.
Yes, it’s Pizza Hut, but no, they’re not changing everything as they are reassuring the world in a hastily-written press release

Pizza Hut Name To Stay The Same
Company Issues Statement Addressing Its Brand

Dallas, TX (June 20, 2009) — “Pizza Hut is not changing its name. We are proud of our name and heritage and will continue to be Pizza Hut. We do use ‘The Hut’ in some of our marketing efforts,” said Brian Niccol, CMO, Pizza Hut, Inc.

“To the loyal fans of Pizza Hut and pizza lovers around the world, we’re happy to tell you that nothing is changing, we’re still Pizza Hut, America’s Favorite Pizza.”

Well, that’s good to know. But why did they need to make this “what do mean I have to interrupt my weekend?” announcement? Because without any prior notice, people around the country were getting their pizzas delivered in boxes that said “The Hut”.
hutbox(photo thanx to Omar G., who first brought this to my attention)

The news had already gotten out to some via Business News and Snark-Based Media that the plan was to ‘reposition’ the Huts with eat-in facilities as ‘hip hangouts.’ Okay, but why then, did they change the delivery boxes first? Why did they change the delivery boxes at all???

That isn’t the only miscalculation that the Pizza Hut people are making. One of the key elements of the ‘hip-ifying’ of the Huts is adding televisions showing exclusive content to the captive pizza eaters. Okay, that might work, but the content provider they’re working with is CBS, probably the least ‘hip’ media megacorp there is, since they split the company and sent everything appealing to the under-40 demographic to Viacom Inc. In fact, they’re bragging that HutTV (as they inevitably call it) will feature “programs such as ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Entertainment Tonight’.” And, as shown on a publicity screenshot for the feature, Katie Couric.
87254-HutTVKatie hasn’t been hip since before her broadcast colonoscopy. (Sorry.)

Of course, there is one reason, above all others, that rebranding any part of Pizza Hut to ‘The Hut’ is a really stupid idea. And that came out with the premiere of “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” 29 years ago…

Right now, Mel Brooks is going “HA! You all groaned and smirked when I came up with the ‘Pizza the Hutt’ character in “Spaceballs”! So who’s groaning and smirking now!!!” (come on, that’s exactly the way Brooks would say it, right?)

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