Craig Robinson goes waay back in Pizza Hut campaign

(It’s newstalgia and pizza for Craig Robinson)

Remember going to Pizza Hut as a kid? The glorious aroma of pizza enveloped you as you were led to a classic red booth decked out in a red and white checkered tablecloth under the cozy glow of a stained-glass Tiffany-style lamp.

You’d score some quarters to play an arcade game as you waited for your Personal Pan Pizza, served hot in a cast iron skillet. Life was good.

Or was that Chuck-E-Cheese?

Nah it was the Hut. Now, Pizza Hut is bringing back all the nostalgic feels to customers with a new brand campaign from GSD&M that captures the concept of ‘Newstalgia.’ The campaign puts a contemporary twist on celebrating all the things people love and associate with the brand – from Book It! pins, classic arcade games, red cups and Tiffany-style lamps and of course, iconic Pizza Hut pizzas.

To help launch the campaign, Pizza Hut teamed up with new spokesperson, actor and comedian Craig Robinson (who defended our Reel 360’s editor’s name during a stand-up set), for a TV spot directed by Chelsea Picture’s David Gordon Green featuring the actor/comedian playing a retro PAC-MAN game while enjoying a $10 Tastemaker pizza.

The comedian can be seen embodying that ‘kid at heart’ and ultimate pizza lover in the new TV spot “Dots,” as he enjoys a $10 Tastemaker pizza while playing a vintage PAC-MAN tabletop game – just like the old days dining in at Pizza Hut. Watch below:

“Everyone has their own special Pizza Hut memory – from being a BOOK IT! kid or grabbing post-game pizza with your little league buddies,” Robinson said. “Growing up in the 80s, mine was going into Pizza Hut and devouring those little PAC-MAN dots just like I did my pizza. Those arcade games in the restaurant – there was nothing better as a kid.”

“There aren’t many brands with more iconic elements than us, whether it’s the red cups, checkered tablecloths, connection to pop culture and entertainment – like PAC-MAN – or our iconic Pan Pizza,” noted George Felix, Chief Marketing Officer, Pizza Hut. “As we look to connect with a new generation of pizza lovers, we are tapping into those things that make Pizza Hut great in a modern and relevant way.”


Beginning today, fans who play the AR PAC-MAN game can enter for a chance to win their very own custom Arcade1Up PAC-MAN game cabinet. Here’s how it works:

Order a large pizza from Pizza Hut. Scan the QR code on limited-edition PAC-MAN box and play the awesome AR PAC-MAN game. Then, to enter the sweepstakes, follow the on-screen prompts to share your score with @PizzaHut on Twitter using #PizzaHutARcade #Sweepstakes.

The best part? You don’t need to be a PAC-MAN wiz to win! No matter your high score, as long as you share it, you have a chance to win. Limited-edition PAC-MAN box available while supplies last. No purchase necessary.

On April 3rd, Pizza Hut will randomly select one lucky winner from all eligible entries properly submitted to receive the custom PAC-MAN arcade game cabinet for their home.

“PAC-MAN’s design and creation was inspired by the shape of a pizza with a slice taken out of it, making this partnership so appropriate for the PAC-MAN brand,” said Yutaka Fuse, Head of Licensing and Branding at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. “PAC-MAN games and Pizza Hut pizzas occupy a special place in many people’s memories; we’re excited to have the opportunity to create fun memories for a new generation of PAC-MAN and Pizza Hut fans through this collaboration.”

The PAC-MAN box, AR game and TV spot are just the beginning. Throughout the year, Pizza Hut will be fueling pizza lovers with new innovation, bringing back iconic pizzas and tapping into entertainment and pop culture in new and unexpected ways. 

Robinson will be the face and mouth of Pizza Hut, and the campaign for the rest of the year.


CLIENT: Pizza Hut

  • GCD/WRITER: Tom Hamling
  • CD/WRITER: Brandon Curl
  • CD/ART DIRECTOR: Dale Austin


  • DIRECTOR: David Gordon Green
  • SENIOR PRODUCER: Shanah Blevins
  • DP: Michael Simmonds
  • COLORIST: Jaime O’Bradovich
  • EDITOR: Frank Efron
  • MUSIC: Pac-Man
  • VFX: Brad Hodgson
  • SOUND DESIGN: Jeff Malen
  • AUDIO POST: Jeff Malen