A second grade art project or a horrible amalgamation created by a partnership between Dr. Moreau and Little Caesar? Actually, the humanoid in the photo above is part of a 90s ad campaign. *Scratches ‘humanoid’ off list of words to use in blog*
His name was Pizza Head and in the early-to-mid 90s he was salesman extraordinaire for Pizza Hut.
With his penchant for mischief and uncanny resemblance to Saturday Night Live’s Mr. Bill, Pizza Head was a big hit for the Dallas-based pizza chain.
Under the direction of SNL writer and Mr. Bill creator Walter Williams, The Pizza Head Show campaign ran from 1993 to 1997 and featured more than a dozen quirky, off-the-wall spots.
One can’t discuss the exploits of Pizza Head without at least acknowledging the campaign’s perpetual antagonist, Steve (a pizza cutter). Disguised as a doctor, Sith lord or vampire, Steve would always be introduced as Pizza Head’s friend, only to ultimate cause him harm.
While the campaign is remembered mostly for its absurdity, I believe its effectiveness remains understated. The ads were able to use the Mr. Bill likeness to strike a nostalgic chord in adults and decision makers, while pandering to the pizza-craving youth with a character better suited for Looney Tunes.
Almost 20 years later and I can still hear Pizza Head’s familiar screams with every bite of pizza I take. I should probably talk to somebody about that…