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Will Pasta Hut turn out to be cold pizza?


Dec. 1, 2008, Korea–In an unconventional marketing move, Pizza Hut Korea announced it will temporarily re-brand three of its Seoul
branches as "Pasta Hut" for a month to promote pasta dishes newly
added to its menu.

The conference was held at its outlet near Hongik University, a popular hangout for the young in western Seoul.
The two other temporarily renamed locations are in Myeong-dong and
Jongno, both in downtown areas.

"It is aimed at letting customers know we now sell pastas as well,''
Pizza Hut Korea CEO Lee Sung-il said. Nine pasta dishes were unvieled in the new Tuscani Pasta line.

The effort comes at a time when the chain is seeing its slice of the
market being taken over by rivals such as Mr. Pizza. Pizza Hut operates
340 outlets in Korea, and is a dominant force in the eatery market.

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This kind of marketing stunt is not new.

On April 1st, April Fool's Day, Pizza Hut advertised the change on its
Web site. The re-naming was actually a publicity stunt, with Pizza
Hut's Dallas headquarters changing its exterior logo to Pasta Hut, a
promotion scheme for the Tuscani Pasta line and new Pizza Hut dine-in
menu. Pasta Hut is now part of the Pizza Hut menu.

In October, Pizza Hut U.K. said it would temporarily rename 30 local stores Pasta Hut, as part of a $28 million promotion.

Pizza Hut Korea said it would advertise more to help customers know about its beefed-up menu.

"It's a move to bring back price-sensitive customers," Lee said. "Recent research shows many customers think most items are overly
expensive, so this is also a move to offer them more choices."