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Pizza Hut, part of the Yum Brands portfolio, kicked off 2012 with its “Top This” campaign. It used Facebook to give consumers the chance to appear in a pre-game Super Bowl commercial, illustrating how Pizza Hut is deepening its connection with consumers through social platforms. With 7,200 restaurants in the US and 5,600 in other countries, Pizza Hut has introduced new products to appeal to local tastes. In the Middle East, it introduced “Crown Crust Pizza.” In China, the chain opened restaurants with a casual dining setting that offers typical American dishes. These vast regional differences, along with the fact that the brand has gone through numerous brand image changes over the past decade, have left some customers confused about Pizza Hut’s core values and positioning. In May 2012, the brand took aim at the sandwich market — namely Subway — by introducing a new pizza sandwich called the P’Zolo™ with the tagline “See ya subs.” The P’Zolo initiative also enables Pizza Hut to improve on “portability” — something that pizza lacks. It remains to be seen if this menu addition will prove successful. With competitors like Domino’s Pizza entering emerging markets with strong brand promises, Pizza Hut will have to rise up in order to deliver.
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