Nicely engraved antique stock certificate from Pizza Hut, Inc. dating back to the 1970's. This document, which contains the printed signatures of the company President and Secretary, was printed by the Security-Columbian Bank Note Company, and measures approximately 12" (w) by 8" (h).
This certificate's vignette features a male, female, the company mascot (Pizza Hut Pete) and a Pizza Hut restaurant inside a circle representing a pizza pie. A second restuarant view appears in the lower left corner.
Pizza Hut was founded in June 1958 by two Wichita State University students, brothers Dan and Frank Carney, as a single location in Wichita, Kansas. Six months later they opened a second outlet and within a year they had six Pizza Hut restaurants. The brothers began franchising in 1959. The iconic Pizza Hut building style was designed in 1963. PepsiCo acquired Pizza Hut in November 1977.
Before closing in 2015, the oldest continuously operating Pizza Hut was in Manhattan, Kansas, in a shopping and tavern district known as Aggieville near Kansas State University. The first Pizza Hut restaurant east of the Mississippi River opened in Athens, Ohio, in 1966 by Lawrence Berberick and Gary Meyers.
Pizza Hut's first television commercial was produced in 1965 by Bob Walterscheidt for the Harry Crow agency in Wichita, and was entitled "Putt Putt to the Pizza Hut". The ad, which looks just like an old movie, and features a man in a suit and tie, played by Ron Williams, (production manager for KAKE-TV at the time) as he starts ordering take-out and driving his 1965 Mustang JR to Pizza Hut, where he is chased by a variety of townspeople portrayed by neighborhood kids, Walterscheidt and his daughter, and various employees for Harry Crow and KAKE-TV. He picks up his pizza and goes back to his house, where all of his pizza is eaten by the townspeople before he can take a bite, which makes the man upset as he calls Pizza Hut again. The ad first aired on November 19, 1966, during halftime of the Notre Dame vs. Michigan State "Game of the Century", and dramatically increased sales for the franchise. "Putt Putt to the Pizza Hut" ran on TV for eight years and was nominated for a Clio Award.
Until early 2007, Pizza Hut's main advertising slogan was "Gather 'round the good stuff", and was "Now You're Eating!" from 2008 to 2009. From 2009 to 2012, the advertising slogan was "Your Favorites. Your Pizza Hut." From 2012 to 2016, the advertising slogan was "Make it great," a variation of the 1980s–1995 slogan "Makin' it great!". From 1995 to 1999, the slogan was "You'll love the stuff we're made of." The advertising slogan is currently "No one outpizzas the hut."
Pizza Hut does not have an official international mascot, but at one time, commercials in the U.S. were called "The Pizza Head Show". These commercials ran from 1991 to 1999 and were based on the Mr. Bill sketches from Saturday Night Live during the late-1970s. The ads featured a slice of pizza with a face made out of toppings called "Pizza Head". In the 1970s, Pizza Hut used the signature red roof with a jolly man named "Pizza Hut Pete". Pete was on the bags, cups, balloons, and hand puppets for the kids. In Australia during the mid to late 1990s, the advertising mascot was a delivery boy named Dougie, with boyish good looks, who upon delivering pizza to his father, would hear the catchphrase "Here's a tip: be good to your mother". Adding to the impact of these advertisements, the role of Dougie was played by famous Australian soap opera and police drama actor Diarmid Heidenreich.
Pizza Hut sponsored the film Back to the Future Part II (1989) and offered a free pair of futuristic sunglasses, known as "Solar Shades", with the purchase of Pizza Hut pizza. Pizza Hut also engaged in product placement within the film, having a futuristic version of their logo with their trademarked red hut printed on the side of a mylar dehydrated pizza wrapper in the McFly family dinner scene, and appear on a storefront in Hill Valley in the year 2015.
The 1990 NES game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, came with a coupon for a free pizza. The game was filled with Pizza Hut advertising (the first-ever console video game with product placement) and pizza that would refill the character's life.
In 1995, Donald Trump and his ex-wife Ivana Trump appeared in a commercial. The last scene of the commercial showed Ivana asking for the last slice, to which Donald replied, "Actually dear, you're only entitled to half", a play on the couple's recent divorce.
In 1995, Ringo Starr appeared in a Pizza Hut commercial which also featured The Monkees. A commercial with Rush Limbaugh dates from the same year, in which he boasts "nobody is more right than me," yet he states for the first time he will do something wrong, which was to participate in Pizza Hut's then "eating pizza crust first" campaign regarding their stuffed-crust pizzas.