Will Pizza Hut Kinect With Gamers?

Apr 25, 2013

Video gamers love pizza. Pizza Hut loves video gamers’ money. Now the chain has a unleashed an app that allows gamers to order pizza directly through their Xbox using the controller, a Kinect gesture or their voice. They don’t even have to get up from the couch to order. Crazy, right?

"For the first time, people can order something through their Xbox that’s tangible," Kurt Kane, chief marketing office at Pizza Hut, told USA Today. "It brings the intersection of gaming and real world products together."

"We’re always looking at ways to give our audience more of what they’re interested in," Xbox’s Larry Hryb told Polygon. "If you look at our audience, they love pizza. I mean, who doesn’t?"

The Pizza Hut for Xbox app comes with an incentive. Consumers who use the app to order pizza will get a 15 percent discount through May 6.

[Image: Pizza Hut and XBOX]

What will the Pizza Hut Xbox app do for the pizza chain? What does the app suggest about the e-commerce potential for Xbox?

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7 Comments on "Will Pizza Hut Kinect With Gamers?"

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Ken Lonyai

It’s hard to say if the Pizza Hut Xbox app will add much to revenue for Pizza Hut because my gut tells me that it’s targeting those that are their core constituency already. It does however, move them forward and establish a presence in what is a new medium of advertising. As TV ad dollars shrink, interactivity, particularly using NUI (natural user interface) is one area to keep viewers/players engaged.

By the looks of it, this may be related to Microsoft’s NUads, a technology that some major companies like Toyota and Unilever have had good early results with. NUads uses the gesture and voice capabilities of Kinect to let audience members interact with and affect advertising spots. The next Xbox 360 is rumored to have a better Kinect which will help advertisers leverage an installed user base of 76 million. (For the record – last week I gave 2 presentations titled “the UX of NUI” which primed me to have the facts for today’s query.)

Max Goldberg

Adding the app is good for Xbox and Pizza Hut. It’s trailblazing the use of gaming consoles for e-commerce. The app should boost sales for Pizza Hut among a targeted demographic. Look for other companies to jump on the bandwagon and offer to sell their goods and services through game consoles. For the console companies, it’s important that these apps organically fit the gaming experience, otherwise they could become unwelcome distractions.

Cathy Hotka


The big lesson here is that retailers are moving away from having just one approach to reach consumers. Younger customers may want to order through an Xbox, and geezers like me may want to continue to use a (gasp) landline. In any case, the customer’s in charge. Congratulations to Yum! for leading the way.

Ian Percy

Years ago when I was working on how to expand my work into other venues, I attended a seminar put on by Nido Qubein, now the President of High Point University. I came away with two words to guide my expansion: “Intentional Congruence.”

In my words this is about ensuring absolute “alignment” in everything we do, whether it’s a merger, new product development or a marketing strategy. This is intentional congruence at its best.

Anne Howe

Natural user experiences are poised to become a “next screen” place for advertising. I think it’s a big win to match up the gaming fans with brands and services that make sense in context. Max hit it on the head by saying that success will depend on avoiding distractions.

Context is king, and I hope the platform doesn’t go overboard delivering irrelevant offers just because they can.

Anne Bieler
Anne Bieler
4 years 5 months ago

Targeting young consumers in-the-moment is the way to go. It’s a natural connection, and should develop nicely for Pizza Hut — making it so easy for hungry gamers. There can be other apps here, but they should be carefully targeted so that it adds to the experience. Overdone, it could lose young consumers just as easily.

Shep Hyken

This is a perfect example of how technology has allowed a retailer to reach their customer in ways they have never been able to before. The retailer is getting closer and closer to the customer. This isn’t a coupon or offer that is mailed to the customer’s address, taking a day or two to get there, and maybe not being opened as it is recognized as “junk mail.” This is an offer made in real time, at exactly where the customer is, at the place they like to be. Xbox is just one example of how to engage the customer on their turf.

What will the results be for Pizza Hut? Pizza Hut knows who and where their customers are. This could be a duplication of previous targeted marketing effort, or a way to replace and maybe even be more effective. Companies like Pizza Hut are forward thinking and doing what is necessary to compete in a very competitive marketplace.


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