Home  /  Adzze News and Articles   /  Pizza Boxes Marketing and The Shift in the Ad Industry
Pizza Box Marketing

Pizza Boxes Marketing and The Shift in the Ad Industry

Pizza Boxes Marketing

COVID-19 is Changing the Advertising Industry
As the economic impact of COVID-19 continues to unfold, brands and agencies need to re-image their advertising methods. The out-of-home (OOH) advertising players will need to rethink their strategies before the damage deteriorates to them bleeding clients too. Traditional billboards will not be effective anymore as the consumers will be taking a more careful approach and spend more time in their homes. So fewer people will be outside and less impressions will be generated by outdoors advertising. Traditional OOH will be replaced by in-home advertising.
According to a survey conducted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) it is believed that traditional out-of-home advertising is expected to suffer (Forbes) an estimated ad spend decline of 51% for March and April and a decline of 41% for May and June.
Are your Ads still from the Prehistoric Ages?

Adzze has been re-thinking the advertising tactics adapting to a more sensitive message. The team has working on extending its capabilities to offer advertising concepts that can reach the consumers at their safest place: at home. One of these methods uses pizza boxes as advertising space. Think of this as small moving billboard that gets delivered at the consumer’s home.


Pizza Boxes Marketing

Studies demonstrated that this type of ads can evoke an 80% recall rate (8 out of 10 households individuals remember to see an ad on the pizza box) with an average ROI of 150%. This means, for every 1 dollar the advertiser invested in a pizza box advertising campaign, they received at least additional 2.5 dollars of sales. For more details, see the article Estimating the ROI of Pizza Box Marketing.

Pizza Boxes Marketing and the Shift in Advertising

There is an increased competition in crowded advertising spaces. The average US-consumer is exposed to approximately 3,000 advertising messages in only one day (Kimmel, 2005). Most of the digital ads barely get noticed with such high volume of ads. The industry has been witnessing a shift in the advertising concept to more tangible and memorable ad techniques.
Some niche advertising companies have been targeting consumers by placing ads on daily consumables as advertising space placing the message in the hand of the target audience. Such consumables can be door hangers, pizza box toppersprescription bagsdrink coastersCustom Coffee Sleeveshotel key cards, valet tickets, restaurant placemats and dry cleaner hangers.

Pharmacy bag Advertisement

Think this as small moving billboards that consumers grab in the hands. This innovative method has been used niche agencies with focus on the unconventional nature that enhances the assimilation of the message. This has a direct impact on increasing the brand recall rate.
During this crisis marketers will have to adapt and to stay on top of the latest trends. Its critical to improve type of advertising message shifting it to more sensitive perspective. The business of marketing is changing in the age of COVID-19. Whether its effects are brief or prolonged, marketers need to be nimble in these challenging times, and pivot when needed while optimizing performance throughout the crisis.
A noticeable new normal in consumer behaviour is the increased demand for food delivery services. According to NPD, 48.5% of all restaurant spending was for off-premise orders in the past 12 months and this is expected to accelerate during the lockdown.
The ads are placed on pizza boxes (or pizza toppers) The advertising pizza venues deliver to the consumers at their homes. The pizza box ads get delivered in the hands of the consumers at their homes reaching on average 45 min of brand exposure. Sometimes the consumer leaves the pizza in the fridge generating additional exposure. On average, each Pizza Box Advertising venue delivers 2,000 pizza box ads per month with an estimate 1.8M impressions/month.
The ads printed on the boxes are inspected during the campaign to ensure pizzerias are distributing them to consumers. The ads on pizza boxes have an unconventional and unexpected nature. This creates a surprise effect making your brain to better perceive and understand the message.

The Pitfalls of Digital Ads

Every average marketer has Digital Ads in the Media Plan. Most people don’t make themselves the question if these ads are really reaching the final audience. Recent studies by the research firm Lumen confirmed that more than 91% of digital ads are viewed for less than a second. The study has used eye tracking cameras on 300 consumers to collect visual data on what they notice when they are online. Most internet users dislike to be bombarded with ads. It can be very annoying to experience an interruption in the otherwise smooth-running browsing process. To get rid of irritating and annoying ads, many internet users are leveraging ad blockers.
Another factor is that most of the time, digital ads don’t even reach the target audience. According to the Association of National Advertisers, only 25% of all digital ad spend reaches real people. Recently, the Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, Pritchard, issued a warning that P&G would not waste money on digital media channels that cannot demonstrate that real people are seeing it. JPMorgan Chase decided to have its advertising messages on only 5,000 sites (eliminating 395,000 other sites) since a lot of the websites were proven to be fake. They noticed only a slight little change in the cost of impressions or the visibility of its ads on the internet after this change.
Pizza Box Marketing is real! The ads printed on the boxes are inspected during the campaign to ensure pizzerias are distributing them to consumers. The ads on pizza boxes have an unconventional and unexpected nature. This creates a surprise effect making your brain to better perceive and understand the message. The advertising message is placed on the center of the box generating guaranteed impressions. Sometimes the consumer leaves the pizza in the fridge generating additional exposure and more impressions. On average, each venue delivers 2,000 pizza box ads per month with an estimate 1.8M impressions/month.

Advertising on Pizza Boxes: costs and benefits

Pizza Box Advertising
The cost of Pizza Box Marketing depends on the total quantities/units to be produced, the complexity of the creative/design, the distribution location and shipping costs. By selecting the right agency, the unit cost of a pizza box might vary between $0.80-1.50 and the pizza toppers $0.30-0.60 per unit.
Let’s now compare it with the current outdated advertising methods:
The costs of billboards typically depend on the creative, format, size, location and demographics. It is not viable to calculate the number of impressions since billboard companies cannot precisely identify how many people are looking at the billboard – usually these are guesstimates based on the traffic of the area. Traditional billboards cost $14,000-20,000/month in larger markets.
Now let’s put it into the comparison perspective:
Using the same budget of 1 billboard during 1 month in a larger market, the advertiser can reach approximately 60,000 households with a personalized message on your pizza toppers. This is a large reach impact that could cover every household in a small city.
What would you prefer?
Paying for a billboard that is not personalized and not even noticed by distracted drivers OR
Reaching 60,000 households that will literally grab your ad in their hands?
Direct Mail
Direct Mail is another outdated tactic. The cost of direct mail as postcards are approximately $0.20-0.40 per unit. This is at similar price range as a pizza toppers.
Now let’s put it into the comparison perspective:
Approximately 60% of the postcards or letters go straight to the garbage and don’t even get noticed while 100% of the consumers must see your pizza box ads.  This brings the ‘’cost per visualization’’ of post cards 2x higher than Pizza Box Advertising.
Calculating the ROI on the Adverting Spend
Let’s assume that you are the Marketing Manager of a local movie theater. The recent pandemic caused you a drastic business harm since the past months most Americans were forced to stay home quarantined. Now that your activities are back to normal you must recover the lost sales with more a creative approach.
You start planning a campaign to distribute 20,000 pizza toppers using local pizzerias. The pizza box ads will include a free popcorn in case they purchase a movie ticket.
Typical conversion rates of Pizza Box Marketing range between 4-6%. This percentage will depend on how attractive the offer is and how compelling the artwork is. Let’s assume for this case a 5% client conversion.
Audience Reach: 20,000 toppers
Converted clients (5%): 1,000 new customers
Sales price of the ticket: $15
Incremental sales (after the campaign): $15,000
Cost of the ads campaign: $6,000
Return on the Pizza Box Advertising investment: 2.5x
Conclusion: for every 1 dollar you invested in a door hanger campaign, you received at least additional 2.5 dollars of sales.

Adzze offers ad placement on pizza boxes nationally. We work with a network that will enable you to place your ads in the hands of the consumers.


  •  Accenture Report (2016). The Future of Advertising
  •  Bain & Company (2016). Online or Traditional, What’s is Better for Brands?
  •  Jurca, M. (2015). Ambient advertising characteristics and schema incongruity as drivers of advertising effectiveness. Journal of Marketing Communications.
  •  Kimmel, A.J., (2005). Introduction: Marketing Communication in the New Millennium. In: Marketing Communication-New Approaches, Oxford University Press.
  •  Lumen Research (2016). Marketers Continue to Waste Money as Only 9% of digital Ads are viewed more than 1 Second.
  •  Nielsen’s Audience Report (2018). The State of Traditional TV: Updated with Q3 2018 Data Arris’ Consumer Entertainment Index.
  •  Wall Street Journal (2018). P&G Contends Too Much Digital Ad Spending Is a Waste.