Cannes Lions

#BeLikeTheBatman

MCKINNEY, Durham / LITTLE CAESARS / 2023

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Little Caesars was facing a challenging situation. They needed to win more “pizza night” occasions in a crowded category when other pizza brands were dramatically outspending them. Enter the Dark Knight. In order to truly reach and engage with a passionate audience Little Caesars had to do more than just show Robert Pattinson’s handsome face for their Batman partnership. Little Caesars leaned into the simple human insight that Batman, unlike the rest of the hero squad, is more of an everyman hero that anyone can root for. And what makes the ‘everyman’ feel like a hero? Bringing home pizza to their family! Thus, Little Caesars set about turning everyday fans into pizza heroes when they brought home the new Batman Calzony, giving them more “hero” moments in their everyday lives.

Idea

Batman is the one superhero that everyday people feel like they can become. That's why, for the Batman Calzony, we didn't want to hire celebrities or influencers. Instead we turned to TikTok to find everyday Hungry Dads and made them into the stars of our campaign. We launched a branded mission on TikTok to cast real life heroes into Little Caesars' television commercials, becoming one of the first brands to cast from the platform. We then put our heroes into absurd, Batman-esque scenarios to show that you don’t have to fight bad guys or scale a building to be a hero. You just had to bring home the Batman Calzony (phew). We tied the #BeLikeTheBatman promotion together by shining our own Bat signal on user-generated content by sharing fan content across the Little Caesars social channels, developing unique landing pages and a microsite for people to redeem exclusive prizes.

Strategy

Little Caesars needed to appeal to a segment we call “Hungry Dads”. These millennial parents eat a lot of pizza, but rarely eat Little Caesars. These are parents who are hip to culture, and like to watch shows and play video games with their kids at night.

Culturally, we knew a product shaped like the iconic Bat Signal would appeal to anyone who loved Batman. We also already knew - thanks to two years of research and social listening - that Hungry Dads loved to share the little wins that made them feel like a hero across social media.

Thus, we launched a three-pronged approach: seed, launch, engage.

Seed: Recruit everyday superheroes through TikTok.

Launch: Ignite the flames by revealing both the product and our everyday heroes across our social channels.

Engage: Stoke the flames through paid and organic social content, and give fans the chance at scoring memorabilia.

Execution

To execute on our three-pronged approach, we launched across all owned channels, starting with the crux of the campaign: TikTok. By garnering the attention of Little Caesars and Batman fans alike, we had our cast. In true film promotion timing, we launched our campaign, drumming up excitement and anticipation for the March film release. By centering our product around an iconic image from the film, we were inextricably linked to the Batman conversation. We launched memorabilia with purchase, connecting the in-store experience with our digital + social campaign, creating 360 impact.

The campaign was 360, spanning all owned channels including in-store point of purchase, the pizza box, website, social media channels (Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook) and the Little Caesars app. #BeLikeTheBatman ran throughout the first quarter of 2022.

Outcome

In the face of pizza fatigue, the Batman Calzony prevailed. Sales increased +6.6% with the highest period sales of all time. In addition, for Q1 2022, we saw an increase in share for Little Caesars from our competitive set.

We made waves in culture with write-ups in Hypebeast and Nerdist. Jimmy Fallon included the product in his Thank You Notes and Batman fans (and newly minted Little Caesars fans) even started selling the branded packaging on eBay. Batman Calzony memes were created, promotional posters became collectibles, and over 1M people entered the sweepstakes.

Our campaign hashtag garnered over 33M views on TikTok, and across the content, the engagement rate exceeded benchmarks by 4%. The excitement for the partnership extended all over social with “official” fan pages popping up on Twitter to give love to the Bat-signal-inspired product.

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