Dan Beeston is

Brushing Off Invisible Spiders

Pizza Trap

28th September 2010

I'm always mindful of being caught up in the trap of brand allegiance. Getting caught up in the cult of any one product just means that you're putting your decision making skills to the side and letting someone else make your mind up for you and that 'someone else' tends to have less than selfless motives.

I don't have a favourite tomato sauce, I always choose the cheapest milk, and I'm always looking for computer tech that works better than apple products. One day I may find it.

One of the few places I stumble is on cheap-arse takeaway pizzas. I've tried Eagle boys. I've tried Dominos. I always end up back at Pizza Hut. Maybe it's the fact that my first dining memories were of my family all dressed nicely and sitting patiently at the Pizza Hut restaurant. (remember those?)

I only really choose Pizza Hut when I simply don't have the motivation to make it all from scratch and coincidentally enough, it was a scratch that turned out to be the thorn in my paw. A scratch, there's the rub. For Pizza Hut set aside $10 million towards a scratch-and-win promotion.

You could buy a lot of grease for that.
So the card specified that there was a 1 in 84 chance of winning so I was pretty darn pleased when I managed to scratch off all the panels and find 3 x $5 prizes. So, off to Pizza Hut to claim my prize? Not so fast. You can't just rock on up. No. You've got to post the ticket down the Victoria. Dang! That's 60c out of my potential winnings.

Imagine how many people won, only to decide that all that effort isn't worth $4.40. Looks like Pizza Hut plan on keeping a big chunk of that $10 million they've put aside. But blow them. I'm not going to be beaten. I've got envelopes and stamps lying around. I'll be damned if I'll let them get away without paying me my $5.

Yep I'm going to seal up the ticket in an envelope and...


Because a quick read of the small print specifies that you've got to include the logo from the pizza box. Oh, the one that's already in the bin? Right. Fine. I'll dig through my bin to grab the logo. It's not worth $4.40 but this stopped being about the cash long ago.

Right. Ticket, scratched. I didn't scratch off the 'void if removed' panel. The address is correct. Done. This ticket is heading down south and they'll have to post me my cold hard cash...

Except that's illegal. They won't be sending cash. They're going to send me a damned cheque for $5. It'll cost almost that to drive to my bank.


I'll do it. For $2.50 in petrol and a 60c stamp I shall not let these sons-of-bitches win.  That remaining $1.90 will be all the sweeter for the fact that I'll have taken their stinking money. I'll have run their gauntlet and beaten their brilliant plan to offer $10 million while actually sending out 'Fuck all'.

Ticket scratched. 3 x $5. Logo from bin. Addressed. Sealed. Sent. Done.

Now to just sit back and wait for the letter from Pizza Hut. And arrive it does. I hastily slit it open to enjoy the fresh scent of a letter that points me to this phrase on the ticket.

Only scratch 3 panels, dummy.
So because I scratched off all nine windows instead of just three (like every single other scratch ticket in the universe), I am not eligible for the prize.

If you do have three identical values on your card the chances are
which equals
1 in 84

Sound familiar?

So each frigging card has a winning combination. They could have just made every 84th card a prize-winning card but instead they've got a system that tricks people into screwing up their entry. And this means that even though 83 in 84 properly scratched cards don't win that still counts towards their "$10 Million to play for."

That means that if everyone plays correctly and everyone goes through the hoops to claim their prize they still only have to pay $120,000 in prizes.

I didn't even realise there was a competition until after I'd eaten my pizza. I certainly didn't use it as a reason to select Pizza Hut over the competitors. But you know what? This whole experience has left a very bad taste in my mouth and I'm thinking about the fact that Pizza Capers is only a minute or two more up the road.

So congratulations Pizza Hut. Your brilliant scheme to excite your customers has destroyed one of the very few brand allegiances I've ever had.

And just consider yourself lucky that I didn't scratch off $10,000s instead of $5s

Girl Clumsy

You so ARE an Apple fanboy brand loyalist. Don't try to hide it.

It is a pretty crazy comp. Reminds me of the Macca's Monopoly one (I think it was Monopoly) where people used their stickers from the year before to pad out their entries. Cost them a whole lotta love.

Really if they're gonna do comps, they gotta keep it simple. Or, make it complicated to screw with idiots, and thereby inspire blog posts. ;)


Coles used to have a promo for Easter Buns like that - which was awesome when I discovered (as a 13 year old, give or take) that if you held the card up to a super bright light you could see the pattern underneath each square.

My family ate a lot of buns that year.