Date Pizza Hut, Marry Bloomberg View
For everyone looking for a last-minute Valentine, here you go: You can now date a pizza.
Pizza Hut has created a profile on the dating site OkCupid, and the potential suitor -- whose traits include: Height: "Tall Enough"; Body Type: "Light & Airy"; Education: "Ph.D. in Delicious" -- is looking for commitment. The brand is wooing daters with the promise of free pizza. For life. Just send Pizza Hut an Instagram or tweet it a Vine with the hashtag #CommitToGreatness and reveal your most creative marriage proposal ideas. The company will then pick The One.
A relationship with pizza? There just might be something to that marketing tactic. In the age of social media and online dating, choosing a brand to buy can feel a lot like choosing a mate. Both involve making a representative profile, targeting for select characteristics and engaging in careful messaging. Flattery and gifts are nice perks for both, too.
Proposing to a pizza may be taking brand loyalty to the extreme. But it speaks to a larger acceptance of online algorithms for match-making and the rise of social media as a means to connect with consumers.
Social media has stripped the barrier between consumers and brand, allowing companies to engage with consumers directly. Some social media followers write back to complain, to get a bargain, to troll, or to express adoration. (Already, for a few tweeting at Pizza Hut, it looks like the online romance is starting to get serious.)
Last year for Valentine's Day, a few brands got lucky with quirky social media promotions. Uber, an on-demand car service, started a Romance on Demand social media campaign that allowed users to use the app to request roses to be sent to someone. Trojan condoms took over some New York City cabs to give free rides while quizzing passengers about safe sexual health and passing out prophylactics as prizes. Two years ago, Krispy Kreme U.K. invited consumers to play a "love roulette" game on its website or Facebook page in which users provided their Twitter handle and sexual preferences and #krispykremeloveroulette matched them up with a partner and gave them the chance to win a dozen donuts.
This year, the National Retail Federation forecasts Americans will spend about $17.3 billion on Valentine's Day, an average of $133.91 per person. Dunkin Donuts is offering heart-shaped donuts, Starbucks is selling its fifth love compilation album and Qdoba Mexican Grill is giving a free entrée with queso purchase to customers who kiss at the register. Can't you feel the love?
So to get with the holiday spirit, we imagined Bloomberg View's dating profile. Are you willing to commit to spending another few minutes browsing the site? Here's what you'd get:
- Body Type: Muscular opinions, but not beefy.
- Diet: Anti-obesity regimen.
- Smokes: No, not even vaping.
- Drinks: Alcohol can be a great stimulus.
- Drugs: Still trying to get the federal pot policy right.
- Religion: Open to all religions, even political ones.
- Sign: Gemini. Considers views from both sides.
- Education: Looking to cut costs of college. Not a frat bro.
- Job: Employed, unlike too many Americans.
- Income: Equality!
- Pets: Anything but pandas.
- Speaks: Data and policy.
- Looking For: Friendship and ideas
This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.
To contact the editor on this story:
Toby Harshaw at email@example.com