TMNT: Mutant Mayhem Reignites A Slice Of History With Pizza Hut
Jul 27, 2023
The Turtles love pizza as much as Garfield loves lasagna, so it's hardly a shocker that in between our turtley-awesome heroes' bouts fighting the bad guys, they stop for a slice during "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem." In the case of the new Seth Rogen-produced iteration of the team, their pizza of choice comes from Pizza Hut, with some carefully dropped product placement turning up throughout the film. The partnership doesn't stop there, either. As part of marketing for the film, The Hut tried out underground deliveries in August, with customers able to get a pie sent to them at subway stations if they included the turtle emoji in their delivery requests.
Such a daring deal with the chain and the longstanding shelled franchise isn't out of the ordinary. Upon the release of the initial live-action film in 1990, Pizza Hut threw down an incredible $20 million into the ninja heroes' popularity, which partly contributed to the movie becoming, for its time, the most successful independent film ever made. All that cash went into an absolutely bonkers Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles album that could be picked up in Pizza Hut restaurants (and went triple platinum). Ensuring parents couldn't escape the earworms kids became addicted to, they also set up a concert tour that spanned 40 cities and could even be purchased on video cassette. It was a wild idea that paid off massively and one that Pizza Hut's biggest competitor actually missed the mark on way back when.
While history might show that Pizza Hut and the Turtles have lived in marketing harmony for decades, it was actually Domino's that got their first slice of the action when Leonardo and company hit the big screen. In the 1990 film, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," a key scene in the film saw our heroes order a Domino's to their door (well, a manhole cover) and not a Pizza Hut pizza. That's as far as the franchise restaurant went before Pizza Hut made the clever move of sticking an ad at the front of the film when it arrived on VHS and had already taken the world by storm.
From there, and with the film's massive success, Pizza Hut got to work on pushing their partnership even further with the aforementioned "Coming Out of Their Shells" tour. Thankfully, history hasn't repeated itself, and the Turtles aren't delivering that kind of a comeback. That being said, the chances of audiences gaining a hankering for a slice or four will certainly kick in now with this new take on the Turtles. Don't say we didn't warn you.