Nothing But Stuffed Crust - 2020 Pizza Hut - sm

COVID-19 Shenanigans: We’ve Cracked The Code!

I’ve been trying to figure out what the food marketing types would settle on for their big, industry-wide, post-Holidays promo trend this year. I’ve recently launched a plaintive lament that there’s been nothing new under the thin, mid-winter sun in the past few weeks, knowing something had to be brewing…

A Mimoment Ad - © 2020 Tropicana Orange JuiceDefinitely NSFW… And totally crazy from the get-go.

Now, I think I’ve figured it out…

It’s out-of-control food craziness! Lots and lots of crazy food-based stories, to help banish the pandemic blues and freshen up your season- and lock down-blighted outlook. Some have clearly been the work promo gurus, simply aimed at trying to make us laugh. Not all have been in good taste, but – then again – it’s not been such an up-beat fall and winter season, either. On the other hand, I would not have expected such a large number of stories that were border-line or over-the-line NSFW, either.

For example…

Scarred for life?

There was the story (on social media, of course), about a guy (well known in some online circles as a satirical blogger) who claimed he refused to open a can of baked beans for his hungry 9-year-old as a means of teaching her how to do it on her own. The poor guy was lambasted by parents who thought him cruel and overbearing for not interrupting his afternoon jigsaw puzzle session to help. Some complained the kid would be scarred for life. He finally had to painstaking point out it was all a jest, but was hounded off the Internet altogether before it was all over.

Calling David Copperfield!

Then, there was the story about a new Pizza treat from Pizza Hut. The guys who premiered the cheese-stuffed Crust back in 1995 announced they were bringing it back with a twist: Just the outer Crust ring, stuffed with cheese, and no actual pie in the middle! Seriously. I hear they are actually selling it, and some fans are going wild!

Definitely NSFW

How about the ‘Have A Drink’ Campaign from Tropicana Orange Juice? It openly counseled stashing OJ and Champers around the house so you could ‘slam down’ a Mimosa anytime if things got too mentally or emotionally dark to handle. NSFW? Well, DUH! Except that for most of us, these days, there is no ‘workplace’. And, if you’re a work-from-homer, nobody on your online conference group knows whether you’re wearing pants or not. (Actually, I should probably be surprised somebody has not launched a ‘Send us your best ‘not wearing your pants at work’ photo contest’. But I digress…)

Pepsi launching ‘Cocoa Cola’ Flavour

Pepsi was making big hay over a new,  a limited-time ‘Cocoa Cola’ flavoured brown, fizzy beverage, designed to marry the classic tastes of Cocoa and Cola in a winter-themed cold beverage. Nutty enough for you? Cheeky enough for you? ‘Nuff said.

Is China in on global joke too?

McDonald’s China was said to be offering a special Lunar New Year’s Spamburger combining Slices of Fried SPAM with Crushed OREO Chocolate Wafer Crumb topping. Two ‘trad’ Chinese fast food faves together for the first time. And probably the last.

Pizza Hut Taiwan outdoing the outrageous

Pizza Hut Taiwan, meantime, was pushing new Pies, one with a stuffed Crust mimicking little Beef Wellingtons, the other leveraging the taste of a blazing hot Korean Hot Pot bowl. Great-looking product ‘official portrait’ photos. Improbablt (to say the least) product descriptions.

The amazing, disgusting 2020 Burger!

The best of the bunch, in my estimation (probably because it was openly satirical) was the 2020 Visualized as a Burger contest from Burger King Brazil. Fans were invited to suggest disgusting ingredients that would best characterize the ‘2020’ Burger as the worst ever. Among the evil ingredients selected from an absolute avalanche of gut-wrenching crap? Sardines and Chicken Feet. They won’t actually be selling it. (Probably something having to do with a current shortage of Chicken Feet, or some such…)

Is ‘any giggles’ ‘good giggles’?

To a point, I guess. But I was (and remain) annoyed that even I was initially fooled by some of the above (and other) crazy food stories when they surfaced just pre- and post-Holidays. These attempts at humour don’t help the brands they represent endear current or draw future fans. They make me feel stupid, and I’m not attached so strongly to any Fast Food Brand that I wouldn’t forsake it for the slight of misreading me. I bear none of the above-highlighted brands any ill will over their desperate attempts to generate a little chuckle or two, as a response to the ongoing and still-long-to-run COVID-19 hardships we all face. I guess I’m just a little upset that I’m not getting the jokes and benefiting as I’m supposed to from them. *SIGH*

~ Maggie J.