Creative Dive: Pizza Hut – Cheese Codes | Dentsu Creative Malaysia & Carat Media

Every time a goal was scored on live TV, a unique Cheese Code dropped on dynamic A-boards in mobile football games.


Pizza Hut


Dentsu Creative Malaysia

Carat Media

Campaign Date

December 2022



Campaign Background

Brands that seize moments of engagement with real-time contextual brand experiences can captivate consumers during crucial purchase moments. In December, the 2022 FIFA World Cup became a battleground for QSR brands with traditional media spaces cluttered with ads and promos.

This brought an unexpected marketing challenge for the annual Cheesy Poppers Pizza promo campaign – the fight for maximum share of voice.

The Work

Deeper Dive

Dentsu Creative Malaysia

Dentsu Creative Malaysia teamed up with Carat Media to change the playing field and play the game with a new audience.

In the buildup to the event, data showed a spike in downloads of mobile football games including FIFA Mobile, Football Manager, and Top Eleven – with 1.2 million active users (and climbing).

Enter gamers, a passionate and untapped audience who loved to recreate scorelines of live matches in the virtual world. The strategy was to tap into this unique gamer behaviour and offer a real-time, in-game hack to order special Cheesy Poppers Pizza combos.

“The World Cup is a prime period for any brand, and we understand the costs of battling competitors for a greater share of voice. Instead, we sought a strategic creative solution that showcased Dentsu Creative’s unified strength,” said Kunal Roy, CEO of Dentsu Creative Malaysia.

Recognizing gamers’ aversion to traditional advertising, our idea seamlessly connected across relevant channels like Twitter to generate more buzz.”

Every time a goal was scored on live TV, a unique Cheese Code dropped on dynamic A-boards in mobile football games. Gamers could simply tap on the board to order limited-edition pizza combos in real life. The codes were created by combining player names with pizza toppings: MBAPPEPPERONI, CRISPIANO, MEZZIRELLA, NEYMARINARA, MODRICHILI, and many more.

“Our commitment to Modern Creativity compelled us to play a different game compared to our competitors,” said Andrew Low, Group CCO at Dentsu Creative Malaysia.

“Football thrives in the real-time world. Our fan engagement campaign aimed to infiltrate real-time conversations for real-life conversions. This move paid off with boosted sales and enhanced brand sentiment—a win-win-win for us, the brand, and the consumers.”

As the World Cup progressed, the team concurrently tracked live games, selecting codes that would be relevant to the player that scores a goal. “This allowed us to stay current and break through the media chaos with increased attention and engagement,” shared Sid Nair, Creative Director at Dentsu Creative Malaysia.


  • The campaign gained a significant share of voice, with Cheesy Poppers witnessing a 14% surge in sales in just twenty-five days.
  • The campaign registered 8.4 million media impressions with a reach of 1.1 million unique viewers and engaged over a million gamers.

“The success of this campaign exceeded our personal and marketing expectations,” said Emily Chong, CMO of Pizza Hut Malaysia.

“The gamified approach and business results speak for themselves. We look forward to engaging new customers in their own gaming worlds in 2023 and beyond.”

Campaign Credits

Kunal Roy – Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu Creative Malaysia
Andrew Low – Group Chief Creative Officer
Sid Nair – Creative Director
Camilia Johari – Copywriter
Diyanah Poedjo – Designer
Rafique Ramleh – Senior Strategic Planner
Nicholas Corneilius – Social Media Director
Janine Wai – Business Director
Szen Li Cheam – Assistant Digital PR Manager
Amy Maisara Abdul Rahman – Senior Digital PR Executive
Claudia Monteiro – Senior Digital PR Executive
Wai Kin Ng – Senior Producer
Michelle Loo – Producer
Najwan Danil-Taridi – Motion Graphics Designer
Winnie Chen-Head – Partner, Head of Product & Growth, Carat
Vanitha Selvathurai – Partner, Head of Carat
Mohamed Salim – Head of Strategy, Carat
Manpreet Kaur – Director, Client Leadership, Carat
Man Shin Yeong – Senior Executive, Media Planning, Carat


Gary Fung – Regional Gaming Director
Team – Kieu Nguyen, Destinee Koh, Mitchel Vaz, Van Vo, Eleen Tay


Matt Blackholler – Director
Grace Cooke – Head of Operations


Antoine Clairet - Head of Demand
Eashen Rhodes – Head of Supply

Pizza Hut Malaysia

Emily Chong – Chief Marketing Officer
Jacelyn Lim – Assistant Brand Manager

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