Pizza Express Encourages Photography Skills Using Interactive Facebook Application

What is the first thing you think of when someone says pizza? My guess is, it’s a sprawled out human on a couch in front of a television that’s been switched on for half a day more than it was initially intended for. Now if I ask you what you thought of, had I said ‘classy pizza’? Ah. Suddenly the imagination runs to a cobbled street somewhere in Italy where artists and photographers are a dime a dozen. But what you distinctly imagine is the aroma of freshly baked pizza with the healthiest of ingredients. Pizza Express, Mumbai brings to you the ‘Slice of Art’ campaign that stars the Italian photographer Stefano Stranges in an effort to reach out to Mumbai’s aspiring photographers.

Objective

  • Encouraging budding photographers to capture art through pictures from the streets of Mumbai.
  • Capturing black and white photos that show why Mumbai is called the art and cultural capital of India.

The objective of this campaign is to encourage street photography from in and around the City of Dreams to give aspiring photographers a chance to showcase their talent and give tribute to Mumbai for its urban beauty. Pizza Express wants people to know about the level of style and design element that goes into each of their restaurants and even from the way they serve or prepare their food.

Execution

The campaign works by the aspiring photographers uploading their images through a neatly created interface on the Pizza Express Facebook page. The ‘Slice of Art’ tab is loaded with an introductory video and details on entering the contest. It comes with a gallery of already uploaded pictures from users and a leader board too, with the number of votes each picture has generated through friends and fans.

slice of art

A smart campaign to promote art and their image of being art lovers, Pizza Express has come up with an innovative campaign to boost their image.

As smart as this campaign idea may be to generate interest in a city that’s full of art and artists, you do wonder why Pizza Express would launch such a campaign. It’s not too easy to relate them to possessing an image of being art lovers.

A 3 day trail around Mumbai awaits the 15 winning candidates whose work has been hand picked by Stefano Stranges to go around the iconic locations of Mumbai to work with the Italian photographer.

Exhibition

Judges (Anand Shinde & Stefano Stranges

The contest works pretty easily, with just an upload of the picture, your details and then the rest is up to you. The number of fans and friends you manage to get on to vote may also win you supposedly ‘exciting’ prizes for the ‘People’s Choice’ picture. There is however no justification to why the prizes are ‘exciting’, let alone what they are.

Positives

An opportunity for aspiring photographers

Its not very often any one gets a helping hand in this crazily competitive country of ours. Let alone someone to hold a door open for you. Pizza Express has done exactly that to the aspiring photographer. Recognition, acceptance and short-lived fame though it may yet prove to be, this campaign is an outstanding idea. This is a campaign that will surely generate enough interest in the contest and being promoters, Pizza Express will be at the forefront of the ‘Art meets Pizza’.

Innovative in its approach, this campaign is sure to be a hit among the aspiring and amateur photographers of Mumbai city.

A brand image of art lovers in a city that loves its art and culture

When you compete in an industry such as the fast food one, it is always important to have a niche or an image that you want the brand to be perceived as. Pizza Express has managed to dissect this niche into style, class and art. They want to be known as the brand that exudes art and the knowledge thereof. The way they’ve furbished their restaurants to the flair with which they serve their food, is not just a means to feed the hungry. Rather, it is to create art. Each pizza will be a work of art. Well, at least that’s what the idea behind this campaign is about.

Mumbai and its love for art may just pounce on such an innovative campaign with glee to show their choice in fine art and love for fine food.

Scope for Improvement

Voting method needs to be revisited for People’s Choice Award

It’s one thing to encourage aspiring photographers to upload their art for a contest. It’s another thing to allow fans and friends to vote for their choice. It breathes life to bias. In a world where every one feels they have a photographer in them, there needs to be more rigidity in the way a winner is chosen. The winner of the People’s Choice Award shouldn’t be left to the contestants with the most friends on Facebook or the one’s who already have a huge fan following. It questions the real merit of the photograph in itself.

Photography is an art. Allowing people to vote for their friends and fans may just leave the truly talented photographer’s work in the background.

Art enthusiast = Pizza Express?

Pizza Express has been around for a while. The image they’ve had thus far is premium pizzas for premium customers. Pizza Express’ competition is the cheaper priced fast food restaurants. But the image they are creating now is to link art and culture with their brand. It will certainly take a lot more and longer than one campaign such as this one to convince their target audience of this new image they are looking to create.

If this campaign is not followed up by more rigorous marketing, the campaign itself may not achieve what they hope for it to do or become.

Conclusion

This is definitely a campaign that will generate a lot of interest in the art and culture community in Mumbai, if it hasn’t already. There are going to be huge number of aspirants flooding their art into Pizza Express’ database. Creating a platform for a photographer is no mild task. Allowing the 15 winners to meet and work with Stefano Strangers is an even bigger opportunity considering the amount of publicity and short-lived fame these aspirants will receive. If the voting for People’s Choice is revisited and Pizza Express does indeed continue to promote their new image, it will certainly be a successful campaign to have begun with.

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