CiCi’s Pizza Begins Penny Promotion

PRESS RELEASE: March 30, 2009 (Coppell, Texas)… There’s a new stimulus package that’s hitting streets across the nation. CiCi’s Pizza, the national restaurant that’s home of the $5 endless pizza buffet, announced today that starting March 30th, American penny picker uppers who keep their eyes peeled for pavement coins may be greatly rewarded when one million winning pennies are dropped around their 650 restaurants nationwide.

As part of its new Penny Picker Upper promotional campaign, CiCi’s Pizza is honoring savings savvy Americans by dropping one million pennies in public places around their restaurants. But these are no ordinary pennies. The backs of each of these specially stickered pennies will list prizes like a free meal at a CiCi’s endless pizza buffet, a free drink, and a buy one pizza get one free deal that can be redeemed at local CiCi’s locations.

“In tough times, every penny really does count,” said Craig Moore, president of CiCi’s Pizza. “CiCi’s Pizza has always appreciated value, and so do our guests.  This campaign celebrates America’s penny picker uppers and our hope is that, after this program, no one will ever look at a penny the same way again.”

As part of the campaign, every specially marked penny that is brought back to CiCi’s will be donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters Club of America.

The multi-faceted media campaign will launch on March 30th with three national TV spots that demonstrate how Americans can find and redeem CiCi’s specially marked pennies. The :30, :15 and :10 spots have a heroic anthem and tone and feature Penny Picker Uppers who are proudly presenting their prized pennies on a rotating pedestal at a CiCi’s Pizza restaurant.

“If we could create a brand, especially in these challenging economic times, CiCi’s would absolutely be that brand,” said Eric Hirshberg, co-president and chief creative officer of Deutsch LA, the agency that developed the campaign. “The Penny Picker Upper campaign celebrates and honors people’s frugality and rewards their frugality with real value and fun.”    

Television and radio directs viewers to www.BeAPennyPickerUpper.com, where visitors can locate a CiCi’s near them and find areas where marked pennies may be lurking as well as create their own personalized Penny Picker Upper character/avatar standing proudly on a rotating podium.  Everyone will have the chance to star as a proud Penny Picker Upper on the website.

The television spots were shot by Benjamin Blank of the Los Angeles-based creative studio Locksmith Content.  Digital and social media efforts will help build awareness for the program and unite America’s penny picker uppers online.  Continuous updates on America’s quest for prized pennies can be found on the CiCi’s Pizza Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/CiCis-Pizza/63322161215.

Founded in 1985, CiCi’s Pizza is a family-oriented restaurant serving guests fresh pizza, pasta, salad and dessert, all you want for about five bucks and change. CiCi’s mission then and now is to exceed each guest’s expectation in food, service and cleanliness at an affordable price. Since opening its first restaurant in Plano, Texas, CiCi’s has grown to almost 650 restaurants in 30 states.

Industry professionals have taken notice of CiCi’s Pizza’s continuous growth and success. Nation’s Restaurant News has ranked CiCi’s number one for sales and unit growth in the pizza chain category for the past three years. In its recent 2009 ranking, Entrepreneur magazine’s Annual Franchise Top 500 issue, ranked CiCi’s Pizza as number one in the Italian restaurant industry category an honor the company also received in 2007. Men’s Health recently included CiCi’s Pizza in it’s list of America’s Healthiest Restaurants. StartupJournal.com, The Wall Street Journal’s guide for entrepreneurs, ranked CiCi’s as one of the top 25 highest-performing brands in the nation and Franchise Today placed the company in the top 200 of all franchise concepts. Other honors include “Best in Value” award among national pizza chains in Restaurants and Institutions magazine’s 2006 Consumers’ Choice Report and “Best Customer Service” from Corporate Research International in 2007, 2006 and 2005. For more information, visit www.cicispizza.com.