Cannes Lions



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Case Film
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The Campaign from Hell: Pizza Roulette

There you are, innocently eating your pizza when it hits you. Your eyes are bulging, your mouth feels like it’s filled with lit petrol, you’re suddenly a grown man crying for your mother…You’ve just played Pizza Roulette, the new campaign from Hell Pizza that puts the world’s hottest chilli sauce on one slice of your pizza – but doesn’t tell you which one!

Here in New Zealand, takeaway pizza’s a category dominated by the two big multinational brands, Dominos and Pizza Hut, who treat it as “a race to the bottom” on price. In 2012, this approach reached its natural conclusion: a price war, with mutually assured destruction for the profits of the combatants.

Except for one. Hell Pizza is a New Zealand brand that’s taken the conventional wisdom in takeaway pizza and turned it upside down, selling premium pizza with provocative advertising and innovative new product development. Despite far smaller resources and marketing budgets, this commitment has seen Hell become a force to be reckoned with.

Pizza Roulette is their latest radical idea. It emerged from a major strategic review and a close creative collaboration to become a retail smash nationally and make headlines worldwide. In a campaign that would probably be unthinkable for most brands, Hell dived deep into its own unique brand personality to create an agonising, rather than enjoyable experience for their customers – only to have those same customers line up to do it over and over again…

The results were NZ$2.3m worth of extra sales*, an R.O.I. of almost 400% in profit, new customer and sales objectives smashed, and priceless global media buzz including CNN,, Gawker, The Huffington Post and more . Not bad for a pizza campaign from little old New Zealand.

The lesson of the Pizza Roulette story is that it’s a real example of what we all know to be true in theory, but happens so rarely in practice. Pizza Roulette shows how creativity, collaboration, and the courage to take risks can help break out of the price-cutting trap – and the major rewards that follow.

It looks like local challengers can teach the multinational giants a thing or two about the power of ideas.

*(See Full Entry and Supporting Document folder provided for all sources)

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