Pizza Hut Japan invents fictional cat-run chain to promote brand

When it comes to mock advertising that your company hopes will go viral, committing to a gag makes all the difference. Use custom screen printing to reinforce a creative conceit and make an unlikely initiative seem real, because shocking, left-field ideas really do have the potential to catch on.

Pizza Hut Japan is exploring this possibility with marketing that sounds bizarre but capitalizes on common interests: a fake restaurant called Pizza Cat. For a series of cute Youtube videos, the company dressed up cats in red pizza server outfits and placed them in a facsimile of a Pizza Hut. 

As becomes obvious fairly quickly, Pizza Cat is not an actual restaurant and the videos are mainly an excuse to show off cats in adorable costumes. But it still uses the familiarity of the Pizza Hut brand and its logo for humor, and banks on accuracy to hammer the point home.

Many short videos produced for the campaign have been collected on Ad Week, showing the cats, each with their own special name, doing various mundane tasks. Their surroundings are a reasonable recreation of a Pizza Hut backroom, including a computer and fake brick oven. The official website promoting the campaign features an overwhelming amount of themed features, including images of cats crawling around the screen and a pointer icon that turns into a paw.

It's possible for ambitious ideas to fail to catch on with a target audience, but that shouldn't discourage businesses from trying something different and new. Custom made signs take an experiment to the next level and make it resonate with more people.