Bunnies in the oven: Hell's controversial rabbit pizza campaign leads to record sales

  • Marketing
  • May 1, 2014
  • Ben Fahy
Bunnies in the oven: Hell's controversial rabbit pizza campaign leads to record sales

Hell's hugely successful Pizza Roulette campaign showed that punters were willing to try something new, even if it burned the crap out of their (or, preferably, their friends') mouths. And its gourmet (and slightly experimental) Rabbit Pizza proved it again after it sold out in less than three weeks and delivered the business its best week of sales in its 18 year history.

After initial sales showed Kiwis were keen on this new variety of Easter bunny, Hell tried to source more smoked wild rabbit from its Southland suppliers, but weather conditions defied the professional hunters.

“We initially thought that 600kg would suffice, but soon realised that demand for the product was far greater than we forecast,” says Hell's general manager Ben Cumming. “Regardless, we’re delighted with the result – 6,562 pizzas were sold, which, by our estimates, equates to around 13,000 Kiwis trying our Gourmet Rabbit Pizza. While we like to be edgy and irreverent where we can, Hell prides itself on being innovative; bringing something new to the market that lots of people haven’t experienced before is therefore really satisfying. It ultimately reaffirmed to us that our customers enjoy trying new things.”

Like many of its previous campaigns, Hell’s rabbit-skin billboard in Parnell via Barnes, Catmur & Friends and its cheeky lost and found posters generated plenty of interest, provoking vigorous debate on social media and leading to six complaints to the ASA (none of which were upheld). And like Pizza Roulette, the discussion was also picked up in international media, with Time, The Daily Mail and many others featuring it.

“The billboard had its detractors, but most people would struggle to be offended. All the positive feedback we received and our sales results overwhelmingly shows that, with a 19 percent increase in sales from Easter last year,” Cumming says. “We never set out to offend people with our marketing, but we accept that, while trying to make people laugh and provoke discussion, it’s unrealistic to expect a 100 percent positive response.”

The rabbit pizza is the first in Hell’s Wild Food range and other products will be announced over the course of 2014. Might we suggest weka, hoisin sauce, rocket and mandarin zest? 

By the numbers (Facebook):

Posts with no ad spend:

  • Reach 168,802
  • Likes, Comments, Shares 8,156
  • Post clicks 42,639

Ad numbers and boosted posts:

  • Impressions     10,089,718
  • Unique Impressions    1,045,870
  • Clicks  22,870
  • Unique Clicks 18,101

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

Spark Lab shows off its mentoring expertise in new campaign

  • Advertising
  • April 27, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Spark Lab shows off its mentoring expertise in new campaign

Spark Lab is on a mission to show that it offers more than just events, so it’s pulled in Sir Ray Avery, Dame Rosanne Meo, Dr Michelle Dickinson (aka Nano Girl) and Eat my Lunch co-founder Lisa King for a new campaign to demonstrate the leadership and mentoring that's on offer to businesses that get involved.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit