Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Will the Town Called Undecided have delivery pizza?

I've already offered my take on tonight's “town hall” presidential “debate” -- I think that it will be a sad joke, and that all future such events catering to “undecideds” should be done away with.

(The wry irony in the use of "catering to 'undecideds'" will reveal itself momentarily.)

Perhaps suspecting that p3's word is not holy writ anyway, many observers choose to remain optimistic about tonight's set-to (although the more introspective of them would describe the mindset with greater candor as goofy optimism), hoping that a silk purse of informed political choice can somehow come from the sow's ear of an evening devoted to the mental workings of low-information voters.

Here's a little more justification not to dial our expectations needlessly high:
Pizza Hut is rethinking its contest daring people to ask "Sausage or Pepperoni?" at the presidential debate Tuesday.

After the stunt triggered backlash last week, the company says it's moving the promotion online, where a contestant will be randomly selected to win free pizza for life.

The pizza delivery chain had offered the prize — a pie a week for 30 years or a check for $15,600 — to anyone who posed the question to either President Barack Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney during the live Town Hall-style debate.

But blogs and media outlets immediately took the pizza delivery chain to task for trying to capitalize on the election buzz by injecting itself into the process.

Pizza Hut spokesman Doug Terfehr said the majority of the feedback the company has seen has been very positive. He said that moving the contest online was a "natural progression of the campaign" after people got excited about the idea and "wished they could get in on it."
Of course they did. Although I've been known to partake of Pizza Hut pizza, the thought of 30 years of dining on their product comes straight out of Sartre. But that could just be me, again.

Perhaps America has dodged a bullet here, but it's still disturbing that -- whatever the reason they had for walking the idea back -- marketers at Pizza Hut (now a subsidiary of something with the Jetsonian name of Yum Brands Inc.) had the idea in the first place and were advancing with the plan. If anyone involved thought it was a debasement of the democratic process (as opposed to the first step in the “natural progression” of a product marketing campaign), the thought didn't seem to deter them much.

Someone somewhere had a picture of the “town hall” “debates” and infinite pizza as natural complements. That should tell us a lot.

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