Pizza Hut Malaysia beefs up creative account with new agency

Pizza Hut Malaysia has shifted creative duties from TBWA\ to Ensemble for a year and work is expected to start next month. CMO Emily Chong told A+M that Ensemble is tasked to continue the journey of brand transformation in repivoting Pizza Hut’s brand into delivering a modern pizza experience. The appointment follows a pitch in late February with six agencies vying for the account. TBWA\ was invited to defend the account.

Chong said the evolving new normal calls for a drastic change in the direction Pizza Hut takes. For her, this is a crucial opportunity for the brand to make "a quantum leap" to continue staying relevant in the present and in the future.

"The Ensemble team brings with it the passionate, bold spirit to innovate - an ingredient that will elevate the brand to the next frontier. Its strategic approach along with the familiarity and capability around digital and data will add a significant value to the big task that lies ahead for Pizza Hut," she added.

Meanwhile, she said it has been a momentous milestone working with TBWA\ over the past three years. "It has been a momentous milestone with Team TBWA/Pizza Hut, one which we would not have achieved with anyone else but the folks in TBWA\. Equally excited with the potential of Pizza Hut brand moving forward, we look forward to more ground-breaking work with the newly appointed Team Ensemble/Pizza Hut," Chong said.

Once considered as a long-forgotten brand, Chong said Pizza Hut and TBWA\ took on the challenge to turnaround the brand in 2018. The journey seen a refresh in brand positioning and communications as well as digital transformations to reconnect with the young audience, Chong said. According to her, the close partnership and commitment between Pizza Hut and TBWA\ has seen many marketing campaigns rolled out, resulting in the strengthening of Pizza Hut's brand equity and a rebound of sales with growth recorded for three consecutive years.

"TBWA\’s strong understanding of consumers and culture has not only produced notable campaigns - 'Taste the Passion' and 'The Singing Pizza' - but more importantly has made Pizza Hut relevant and reconnect emotionally with the young once again," Chong explained.

Hui Tsin Yee, CEO of TBWA\Group Malaysia, told A+M that since the agency was appointed, it has had many milestones with Pizza Hut which were all pivotal to the brand consumers see today. "We are honoured to have been a true creative partner during its key transformational years, from making the brand culturally relevant for young adults to shifting its business from just dine-in to an eCommerce delivery model, bringing distinctiveness to its communications, and thriving together through the pandemic year," she added. 

Yee added that TBWA\ is grateful to have been part of Pizza Hut's journey so far and wishes the brand all the very best on its journey ahead. Among the list of notable campaigns that TBWA\ has worked with for Pizza Hut include the relaunch of its pan pizza to The Singing Pizza, its first WhatsApp ordering platform "Easy Order", as well as the tong-tong sessions for Chinese New year and sampaikan syawal reflections for Ramadan. 

Pizza Hut Malaysia witnessed a leadership change in its marketing department last year when Chong took over from Jean Ler as CMO. Until then, Chong was with the company for three years and oversaw brand management and retail marketing. Before Pizza Hut, she was with PETRONAS regional marketing manager for less than a year and also worked at Kimberly Clark, Unilever, and Cadbury.

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