March 20, 2014 |

Throwback Thursday: Celebrity Sells in January 2000

By Mandy Wolf Detwiler

January 2000 coverIn January 2000, we put Fran Drescher on the cover. (It probably seemed like a good idea at the time …) The focus of that issue was a look at how celebs sell. We took a look at how Drescher, along with Donald Trump and Spike Lee, were used by Pizza Hut to tout the company’s new Big Apple pie to the tune of $80 million in advertising. It worked. The company reported that sales were up considerably from the year before.

While you, as a smaller owner/operator, probably can’t shell out big bucks to bring in big names, there are plenty of ways you can use celebrity to your advantage. Associate Editor Denise G. and Creative Director Rick D. spent time in February at Fuzzy’s Pizza in Houston. Among owners Fawaz and Rita Hajjar’s clients are a former president and his wife (you’ll have to read the story in the April issue to find out who). The Hajjars have named two pizzas on their menu after their famous clients and have photos of themselves on the wall. It was a brilliant move –– and cost effective.

There’s a local car dealership here that manages to get some famous faces in its advertising –– mostly local basketball stars. John Schnatter has also used the University of Louisville basketball and football teams in his advertising. And coaches Rick Pitino and Denny Crum are familiar faces on many different companies in town. They’re selling a company, sure, but they’re also selling their own personal brand as well, so it’s a win-win for all.

Do you count any famous people among your clients? (It’s OK, you don’t have to tell us who.) Have you asked them to sign photos or pose for pictures with your pizza? Let us know!