Although the award for stupidest rebranding of 2009 remains with the SciFi Channel (it’s changing to SyFy next month), Pizza Hut is running a close second by stripping out the food half of its food title and going with new branding that says it’s just “The Hut.”
Here’s how The Hut’s chief marketing officer explains it to Brandweek in an interview back in March:
yes, we’re also introducing another vocabulary word with Pizza Hut, which is ‘The Hut.’ That ties in nicely with [today’s] texting generation. We wanted to make sure that Pizza Hut and ‘The Hut’ become common vernacular for our brand. Red is our mark and when you see that red roof, people will refer to it as ‘The Hut’ or ‘Pizza Hut.’ As we expand our online and mobile businesses, ‘The Hut’ is the perfect icon for our mobile generation.
They’re also trying to present a more healthful image by introducing multigrain crusts and “all natural” tomato sauce—which just raises the question, what’s in their regular tomato sauce if not tomatoes?
No one in Pizza Hut’s marketing department seemed to make the connection that a lot of people automatically add “Jabba” to the front of that phrase, which makes for an odd combination of imagery:
(You will not be surprised to learn that there’s a website on the Hutt language.)