Pizza Hut launches loyalty scheme in the UK

Who doesn’t like free pizza? Nobody is the answer, and so that’s the premise of Pizza Hut’s newly launched loyalty programme.

The Hut Rewards scheme offers customers reward currency, called ‘slices’ for every £10 they spend. Get five slices and customers get a free side, seven gets them a free medium pizza and 10 a free large pizza. Once those 10 slices have been accrued and redeemed the programme restarts.

Unlike some loyalty schemes, which demand an awful lot of time and engagement to get to the good stuff, this one seems relatively simple. Spend money, earn slices, redeem slices. It should also provide Pizza Hut access to data so it can offer customers more relevant communications and offers.

It’s also a good strategic move given rising competition in the food delivery space. If it can convince people to pick Pizza Hut even once or twice more often that will be worthwhile incremental sales.

Volkswagen on efficiency drive as it cuts agencies by more than 90%

Volkswagen is following the trend of major brands nowadays and centralising its marketing function as it looks to become “leaner and more centralised”.

That means the company is creating four new “global powerhouses” for its marketing and bumping local agencies off the roster. It will now work with just three agencies, down from 40 before, as it looks to boost marketing efficiency by 30%. That, it hopes, will enable it to increase the number of campaigns it runs five-fold without increasing its €1.5bn (£1.3bn) media budget.

That’s a strategy that should be familiar to anyone that has been listening to what the likes of Unilever and Procter & Gamble have been saying over the past few years. Cutting agency costs is seen as an easy way to save money without, theoretically, hitting marketing share of voice. Whether it actually works is another thing altogether; asking these three agencies to come up with five times as many campaigns and creative ideas seems like a tall order. And the focus on efficiency rather than effectiveness is always worrying.

Volkswagen also wants to shift up to 50% of its budget to digital, and communicate in more one-on-one ways with customers, who will all now be given a personal ID. This more targeted approach is again one brands are increasingly keen on but Volkswagen will need to make sure it is speaking to the 5 million people that don’t have a VW ID, as well as those that do, if it wants its brand to go back to the heady days before the emissions scandal.

Unilever boss Paul Polmon steps…