Pizza Patrón Forcing Hungry Gringos To Speak Spanish – Gringos Outraged

Image source: Seth Werkheiser

Bilingualism has many rewards including enhanced cognitive skills, lower occurrence of dementia in old age, higher paying job opportunities, double the pool of friend and relationship possibilities, and now, free pizza.

A Texas-based pizza chain is getting some backlash over their latest promotion. On June 5th from 5 to 8 pm, Pizza Patrón customers who order in Spanish will receive a free large pepperoni pizza, but this has some monolingual English-speakers feeling a little cheesed off. (I couldn’t resist the pun. ¡Perdóname!)

“This is America and in America we speak American when we order Italian food!” said one angry customer, (Okay, I made up that quote, although it’s not much of an exaggeration from real quotes I’ve read.)

Pizza Patrón unfortunately can’t claim to be surprised by the reaction they’ve gotten since they generated a similar response in 2007 when they announced that they would accept pesos as payment.

Image source: Pizza Patrón

Regardless of how ridiculous people are being about the promotion, they can’t accuse Pizza Patrón brand director Andrew Gamm, of not playing fair – Hungry gringos wanting their share of the pie will not be left out. “If you don’t speak Spanish, come on in. We’ll give you the phrase and make sure everyone that shows up walks away with a pizza.” (By the way, the very difficult phrase customers must learn how to say is “Pizza, por favor.” …Seriously people, if you can’t say that, you have bigger problems than not being able to get a free pizza.)

Image source: Pizza Patrón

Did you notice how “pizza” is spelled in the advertisement above? That is genius marketing at work. Here’s an excerpt from a Pizza Patrón press release explaining:

“Collateral materials for the promotion feature the word PIZZA spelled with a “C” resulting in text that reads PICZA POR FAVOR™ (pronounced “PEEK-ZA”). Company officials say many of Pizza Patrón’s corporate staff members pronounce words like PIZZA as PICZA or PEPSI as PECSI.

“Nearly half of our corporate staff says PICZA (“PEEK-ZA”) instead of PIZZA,” says Gamm. “And when we dug a little deeper, we soon realized that a good number of our Hispanic customers also say PICZA (“PEEK-ZA”) too. We thought it would be fun to incorporate that cultural component into the campaign.”

I have to say, at our house it’s pronounced “PEEP-SA”, but “PICZA” is close enough that I smiled, recognizing right away what they were up to.

How do you pronounce “pizza” at your house?

____

Bonus: Check out this hilarious take on the Pizza Patrón news story over at Pocho.com – Speaking Spanish gets you a free pizza – and Pocho Ocho other things

Posted on May 26, 2012, in Culture, food/drink, humor, Language, Latinidad, Spanglish. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. elianatardio

    haha I am happy I know how to order that picza hahah

    • Tracy López

      Really wishing we had a Pizza Patrón around here. I was checking out the website. Looks good and it would be good Spanish practice to make the kids order, right? LOL

  2. People are taking things too seriously…! Looks like the promotion was made in a fun way and it is far from discriminating or whatever.

    At home, “pizza” is “pit’za”. The Italian way I guess.

  3. I do pronounce it as “Pic-sa” when I say it in Spanish! I love what this restaurant is doing!

  4. At our house it’s a “Pete-zah” with a little too much emphasis on the “zah” sometimes, Also if you want stuffed crust you ask for “cheez in the border ” ja ja :)

  5. This is awesome!! Papa Johns dominos and pizza hit should step up! LOL at home, we say PETE-SA. Hahaha.

  6. Lol that’s awesome. And yes that sounds about right on how my family says pizza in el salvador haha

  7. PEET-Sa here in western N.C. Tracy, I love your made up quote, for it hits the mark perfectly.

  8. Hahaha, I say pic-za to and pec-si when I speak in Spanish!

  9. I thought that was a real quote, Traisy. Good going ;). Everyone I know says “pisa” with that laid back Cuban tongue. i.e “Dame una pisa de jamón y queso meng”. Real Cubans don’t eat pepperoni pizza, we eat pisa de jamón y queso.

  1. Pingback: OC Latino ‘Links’: World Cup, Daddy Yankee and more - OC Latino Link : The Orange County Register

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