A drinkable cheese tea pizza

Brands crossover is the new buzzword for companies looking to gain an edge in China’s rapidly changing market. Since entering China in 1990, Pizza Hut has kept up with Chinese trends and jointly launched products several times that cater to the tastes of Chinese consumers, such as crawfish hot-dry noodles with sesame paste.

After 6 days of teasing, on August 12th, Pizza Hut unveiled a collaboration with LELECHA on Weibo and their WeChat official account a drinkable cheese tea pizza! LELECHA  is a relatively new player in the competitive milk tea industry, launched in 2016 in Shanghai, however, it became one of the most popular tea companies. Apart from their signature cheese fruit tea, they also offer scrumptious soft buns in different flavors, such as dirty choco bun, durian cheese soft bun, starry custard bun, etc. 

The drinkable cheese tea pizza is an innovative creation, part of their “summer of cheese” campaign, featuring peach-flavored cheese tea on top of the crust of their pan-style cheese pizza and finished with a bear-shaped pudding, diced peach and dragon fruit on the top. Through an O2O integration, Pizza Hut is allowing customers to buy a coupon through their WeChat official account and pick up their pizzas at two selected stores in Shanghai (Riyueguang center and Guangqi Square). Only 400 pieces were available for a limited time (from August 8th to 19th).

(image source: Pizza Hut’s WeChat official account)

In terms of marketing communication, Pizza Hut employed both online and offline activation. They created a dedicated hashtag “cheese celebration(??????)” on Weibo and used 2 large-scale KOLs (up to 16m fans) as well as KOCs to forward and share on their accounts. 

Source: Weibo
Source: Weibo

Besides, under the boom of the street vending economy(????), Pizza Hut had set up a dedicated street vending stall in Meilong Square between August 7th and 9th. During two days, consumers could take pictures in front of the well-designed wall and purchase the limited-edition shoulder bag decorated with cheese and pizza stickers.

(image source: Pizza Hut’s WeChat official account)

Surprisingly though, when we went to the selected store, the collaboration was displayed in the form of a brochure, which could be barely noticed at the storefront. The manager explained that they choose not to showcase the product in an obvious format due to its limited availability.

By integrating O2O marketing, the 400 coupons (300 sold by Pizza Hut and 100 by LELECHA) had been sold out within 2 days. Combining Pizza Hut and LeleCha’s performance, the announcement posts on WeChat official account got over 120k reads, and the one on Weibo received more than 400 comments, an uplift of over 20% compared to regular posts. Netizens thought the idea of this pizza/cheese tea hybrid is bold and creative and were willing to give it a try, while some had questioned if the combination of cheese tea and pizza actually tastes good. 

Thus far, only 1 KOC published a video about her opinions on Weibo. 

(image source: Weibo)

We also tried the product with our colleagues and had got similar reviews:

  • The combination of cheese tea and pizza is quite weird. 
  • The cheese tea is a little bit too sweet, but it got balanced out when combined with the pizza. 
  • The taste is not as bad as imaged.
  • The crust is crispy and it got the most favorable comments.

With the rise of innovative Chinese brands, international companies have been imagining crazy crossover collaboration to please and surprise Chinese consumers. As the two cheese lovers’ brands, the partnership between Pizza Hut and LELECHA has successfully realized the synergy of resources between the two parties and helps strengthen the brand images. Moreover, it intensifies Pizza Hut’s “reject rigidity, seek innovation” brand attitude and consolidate the brand image among cheese lovers.

Source: Pizza Hut’s WOA, Pizza Hut’s Weibo, LELECHA’s Weibo, LELECHA’s WOA 



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