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The Economist Uses Pizza Boxes To Encourage Students To “Get A World View”


The Economist is one of my top five favorite magazines, I read it regularly. I also live in the Philadelphia area and eat pizza quite often. So I’m excited about The Economist’s new advertising plan: they connected with over 20 pizzerias in the Greater Philadelphia area, most of them near college campuses or dorms, and supplied them with Economist-branded pizza boxes. Each box has a pie chart that connects pizza consumption with global economics and politics. They encourage people to “Get A World View”.

This kind of ambient advertising is always interesting. Publipizz, a maker of advertising pizza boxes, estimates that a box of pizza is looked at by 3 people for at least 8 minutes and results in an 80% memory retention rate. Plus, boxes with advertising on them are less expensive for pizzerias, which makes them more likely to join in.


I really love this idea. Pizza eaters will get to learn what it took to get that pizza to their stomachs. But the idea is more than just informing consumers about pizza production; it’s about getting youth interested in the news, economy, politics. Plus it reinforces how big a part capitalism plays in all our lives. Too often people, usually young people, forget how the free market brings people together, and they dismiss capitalism as a bad thing. Hopefully a small thing like these pizza boxes will help students realize how markets bring us all together.

It reminds me of Milton Friedman’s Pencil: