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    Little Caesars opens Instagram gallery selling pepperoni-themed art

    • Little Caesars Pizza is reimagining its Instagram page as a pepperoni-themed art gallery to promote the rollout of a new menu item, according to a news release
    • The chain is leveraging the app’s grid layout for a one-day event on Sept. 20. The main Little Caesar’s page will drop a series of shoppable posts showcasing items available on a first-come, first-served basis and all for $9.99 — the same price as the Old World Fanceroni Pepperoni Pizza. 
    • Products range from framed oil paintings to a candelabra outfitted with pepperoni-scented candles. The brand is making use of social commerce to build affinity with consumers at a time when the tactic has struggled to scale in the U.S.

    Little Caesars wants to position its Old World Fanceroni Pepperoni Pizza as a premium option available at an affordable price point. To promote the menu addition, the chain is taking a traditionally high-end concept — an art gallery opening — and flipping it into a limited-time shoppable event on Instagram. The activation is timed for National Pepperoni Pizza Day.

    The fast food category for years has glommed onto the idea of merchandise targeted at super fans who will happily express affinity for their preferred brands. The Little Caesars drop adds a sense of urgency by only running for a day and having products available on a first-come, first-served basis at a relatively inexpensive price point. 

    In terms of what consumers can vie for, there are oil paintings that take their cues from well-known masterworks, such as one riffing on van Gogh’s “The Starry Night,” swapping out swirling stars for pepperoni slices. Another piece depicting a Little Caesar’s slice was done by Noah Verrier, whose broader body of work frequently dips into fast food subjects. Also on display are the candelabra with scented candles, a cupped chair, a beverage chest and a bedazzled “purseroni.” 

    The pun-fueled effort comes as Instagram’s plans for social commerce are in flux. The tactic seemed like a surefire bet earlier in the pandemic, when people spent more time browsing and shopping from home. But COVID’s e-commerce surge has considerably cooled in recent months, while privacy changes implemented by Apple have made tracking and measuring the success of campaigns harder on mobile devices. A recent report in The Information indicated Instagram would “drastically scale back” its commerce push to focus more on advertising initiatives.

    Little Caesars is in the midst of a larger ad blitz as it kicks off its first year as the official pizza sponsor of the NFL. New TV commercials star Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford. The company is also among the initial sponsors for Amazon’s streams of “Thursday Night Football,” a bet at reaching fans who are adopting more digital viewing habits and might welcome tactics like QR codes that can be scanned during broadcasts to order a pizza and earn perks. 

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