Last week, radio personalities PJ Harding and Jase Hawkins introduced the world to a culinary abomination called Sushiwi, a disturbing conflation of a pie with a sushi roll. The pair of outrageous radio jocks (who recently also dabbled in sleep deprivation by hosting a 51-hour long radio broadcast) developed this Kiwi rendition of the Japanese classic as part of an integrated campaign for sushi chain St Pierre's.
See the video of the official launch here.
While Sushiwi is unlikely to revolutionise the sushi market and become a staple on the shelves of other chains, the hype created by the pair did drive consumers to the participating chains. And even though most customers weren't bold enough to sample the rice and pastry treat, the campaign achieved the aim of getting people into stores.
But the pair didn't immediately choose to incorporate pie into sushi straight off the bat. They first experimented with pizza, but this idea didn't make it beyond the confines of the studio walls.
Our attempt at making 'Sushizza' last night was... interesting.Posted by ZM's Jase & PJ on Thursday, 9 July 2015
At the Radio Rewired event several months ago, Hawkins spoke about how his role as a radio personality has evolved in the digital age.
"It’s changed a lot," Hawkins said. "Years ago in radio, when I first got into it, people got into it thinking they’d do a couple of hours a day. I’ll get in, get free stuff and get out. These days, presenters are pretty much producing as well. You’re in there and involved in the process. When you’re selling an idea to a client, a lot of times the announcers have to go out and sell the idea to a client rather than having them read it on a bit of paper. You’re a bit of everything: producing, sales and so forth. People don’t just want radio. If we come up with an idea or a client brief, you have to think: ‘What’s going to make great radio?’ and ‘Is that going to translate to video?’”
Through initiatives like this, client content doesn't simply serve as interruption during an ad break, but is rather incorporated into the programming on a given show. And because the personalities control the delivery of the creative idea, they are able to ensure that it fits in with their usual style.
Interestingly, Jase and PJ aren't the first people to have experimented with the humble pie. Not long ago, Pizza Hut added to its growing encyclopedia of horrors by unleashing the pie crust pizza in the Australian market.
During March, Z Energy also got stuck into the pie action by unveiling an assortment of weird pie flavours, including Italian Meatball Pie (with beef meatballs, tomato, onion, garlic, basil and oregano, topped with a creamy cheese sauce made with mozzarella) and The Breakfast Pie (with cheesy sausages, smoky bacon, baked beans in a rich tomato sauce and topped off with an egg)—at least those don't sound downright horrifying.
Gourmet pie company I love Pies, however, jettisoned common decency altogether and developed a high-protein, probiotic smoothie, consisting of Angus beef mince, mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of kale. And on that note, we close with the laconic words of Captain Kurtz from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: "The horror, the horror."