Cicis Pizza brand refresh highlights new design, mascotPizza Marketplace

Plano, Texas-based Cicis Pizza recently underwent a brand overhaul that brings a new design to restaurants, as well as a new mascot.

Plano, Texas-based Cicis Pizza recently underwent a brand overhaul that brings a new design to restaurants, as well as a new mascot.

Cicis has 300 units, 10 of which are corporate stores. The company has three units in the pipeline.

Cicis was founded in 1985, becoming the original home of all the pizza, pasta, salads and desserts you can eat. From the start, the brand was committed to creating fun, family-friendly restaurants where customers can spend quality time together and enjoy all their favorite meals at low prices.

Pizza Marketplace spoke to Stephanie Hoppe, CMO of Cicis Pizza, about the brand refresh and what it brings to the table. Hoppe joined the Cicis team in February 2022 to bring fresh new ideas to improve the Cicis experience both in stores and on digital platforms.

Stephanie Hoppe, CMO of Cici’s Pizza. Provided.

Q: What is the new Endless Pizzabilities campaign?

A: The new Endless Pizzabilities campaign celebrates the unique experience that Cicis provides, breaking up clutter and turning everyday life into an endless buffet of pleasure. What makes Cicis so special is that we offer a wide variety of high quality all-you-can-eat options for the families, teams and local communities we serve at low prices. In an age where value is extremely important, we are grateful to be able to provide our customers with an affordable dining experience.

Q: What was the impetus behind creating a new campaign?

A:The priority of this new campaign was to tell the story of the brand rather than to announce discounts or other promotional levers. The focus is on engaging our former, current and future customers in a fun and creative way that showcases the value and experiences we provide. For many people, Cicis holds a special place in their memory as their favorite childhood restaurant, the place they went to with their little league team, or even the place they once took their own children. The new campaign does a fantastic job of capturing what Cicis already means to many of us and gives customers – old and new – more reasons to visit.

Q:How has Endless Pizzabilities helped Cicis succeed in a crowded market?

A:The creativity behind the campaign is groundbreaking for Cicis and very different from anything we’ve done before. The results we’re already seeing reflect its strength – within the first few weeks of the campaign’s launch, we were already seeing double-digit increases. It captures people’s attention and creates buzz. Cicis is back, but better and current – it’s for today’s consumer.

Q:You have a whimsical new spokesperson. Who is it and how was it created?

A:We were looking for an idea that could fully express the endless fun, variety and creativity of the Cicis experience and whimsical CC Pazzini is where we landed. He’s an inventor – a nod to Cicis’ pioneering heritage as the originator of the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. His endless creative energy makes him the perfect ambassador for our unique and wonderfully magical dining experience.

Q:You recently joined the Cicis. What attracted the company?

A:Cicis’ culture and leadership were the most attractive aspects of the company. Cicis has a team member-driven culture led by our President, Jeff Hetsel, who has a strong vision and the ability to elevate his team for success.

As mentioned earlier, consumer value is also greater than it has ever been before, and Cicis is highly relevant because it offers incredible value and an incredible product. There is so much potential for the brand and as a marketer I really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

CC Pazzini, the new mascot of Cicis Pizza. Provided.

Q:How important is marketing to Cicis Pizza?

A:Marketing is extremely important to Cicis. We need to be able to tell our story and stay relevant, and marketing allows that. That said, proper marketing cannot happen without the partnership of franchisees and operators to deliver the Cicis experience. It’s a whole family, a cross-functional effort. The whole company is behind the success we are currently experiencing with this campaign.

Q: What challenges has the marketing team faced over the past two years?

A:There’s no denying that the pandemic has created challenges for a buffet business like ours. The industry was tough before, but the pandemic has made things even worse. We had to pivot to adapt to the new restaurant landscape and implement online ordering systems. But we’ve made incredible progress over the past few years and we’re putting innovation at the forefront of the brand. Looking ahead, I would say there are endless Pizzabilities for Cicis!

Robert M. Larson