Super Bowl Spots from Pizza Hut & GSD&M

Eating craft services next to Abraham Lincoln doesn’t happen every day.

This first campaign is in support of Pizza Hut’s $5 Lineup and features a modern-day Abe Lincoln, Mr. Five Dollar Bill himself. In the spots, Abe is a husband and father who, through the use of quirky humor and relatable situations, brings to life the variety of offerings that customers can get at Pizza Hut for “just a Lincoln each.”

The campaign aligns with Pizza Hut’s commitment to deliver distinctive and consistent advertising that breaks through with their customers. Modern-day Abe illustrates moments that matter spent with family and friends in ways that everyone can relate to—gathering over hot food in the kitchen, the overly intense video game matchup, or having the crew over for the big game.

Pizza Hut is proud to share that this campaign was created in collaboration with JEAN (from Community Productions), a production trio with a female director as is part of their mutual agreement with GSD&M to include a bid from a female director in every production possible as part of the commitment to Free the Bid.

The first ad of many featuring Abe launched last week and you’ll continue to see him throughout key moments for Pizza Hut where the brand has a major presence, including pre-game during the biggest pizza day of the year, Super Bowl LIII, and also during the next big window, the NCAA Tournament/March Madness. 

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about?

This latest campaign for Pizza Hut’s $5 Lineup is all about Mr. Five Dollar Bill, Abe Lincoln. We’ve brought Abe back to life as a modern-day dad, taking credit for the bounty of items that a five-dollar bill can buy at Pizza Hut. Whether Abe’s hanging with his family, friends or co-workers, he finds a way to work in the fact that it’s his handsome face on the five-dollar bill that makes it all possible. [Thank you, Abe. You’re welcome, world.]

 

How is this Super Bowl brief different from the usual brief?

Pizza Hut’s media buy for this year’s Super Bowl really helped drive the creative. We had 21 pre-game spots to fill before kickoff—the window when people typically order food for the game. Rather than come up with one epic in-game spot, we needed one epic character that could carry the weight of the spots running for six hours leading up to kick off. Enter the 16th President of the United States of America.

Can you share your favorite behind-the-scenes moment with us?

Eating craft services next to Abraham Lincoln doesn’t happen every day. So that was cool.

 

What was the greatest challenge that you and your team faced during development?

Casting our Abe Lincoln was an incredibly fun challenge. We needed an actor who could physically transform into Abe, but who could also deliver his lines in the most believably Lincoln-esque way. And knowing how much content we wanted to capture for social and online channels, our Abe character needed solid improv chops to get the most out of our production.

What did you enjoy most about seeing this campaign through? Did you learn anything new from the experience?

One of the best parts of creating this campaign was the collaboration between our agency, our client and our director team JEAN. All of us were collectively on board with pushing the work from the initial scripts through the final edit to get the most entertaining spots possible. Pizza Hut laughed in every meeting and made bold, smart decisions, while our talented directors added their signature humor in all the right places. We learned that when our internal teams, clients and production company just say yes, great work can happen with a ton of laughs along the way.

 

What is your favorite Super Bowl ad of all time?

Easy. Old Milwaukee’s “Will Ferrell” from 2013. Brilliant copy. Incredible special effects. Okay casting.