When we think of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, few
of us find our thoughts turning to romance.
But one East Coast pizzamaker believes the allure of its pepperoni pies will
inspire couples to exchange wedding vows in its restaurants on Pi Day Tuesday.
Get it? They’re combining the concept of pizza pies with—well, the wedding
part of the equation may be a stretch. But because the day affords a big
fat opportunity to stuff ourselves with every conceivable variety of pie,
more and more organizations are commemorating the annual event.
Pi Day was selected because the date corresponds with the first three
digits of the mathematical symbol pi: 3.14. Coincidentally, it also happens
to be Albert Einstein’s birthday, as Beakerhead, a Canadian educational
charity, noted this week.
Science and technology messaging
As you might expect, mathematically oriented institutions—NASA, Microsoft,
science museums—have been tweeting about Pi Day for days. And if you sell
any ingredient that can be baked in a crust, now’s your opportunity to
newsjack—never mind the different spelling of your kind of pie.
As a PR move, acknowledging Pi Day seems to be an easy win. The pizza
wedding stunt won coverage in
Washington, D.C. Hand out pies in a branch office, and you might just score a story in the
local newspaper, at least if your office is in the circulation area of the
West Plains Daily Quill.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology snagged 211,000 views for a video
promoting March 14, which also happens to be the day it reveals its
decisions on admissions. MIT seized the day to promote a message of
diversity, featuring a student scientist playing a comic book character who designs a flying robotic suit.
Livestock breeders and outdoorsy types seem to have other kinds of pie on
their mind on this great American holiday. Last year an enterprising Kansas
rancher arranged his herd into a giant
π symbol, inspiring a #CowPi hastag. Coconino National Forest in Arizona tweeted a
picture of its
Cow Pie Trail, apparently not a place where you’d want to hike barefoot.
Coverage of the day as a marketing phenomenon seemed to peak in 2014,
judging from a three-second Google News search. Adage noted that “Just About Every Brand Wants a Slice of Pi Day,” while Inc. offered, “To Build a Cult Following, Look No Further Than Pi Day.”
“Got a semi-crazy idea, and the need to convince huge numbers of people to
adopt it?” Inc. asked. “Advocates for Pi Day are way ahead of you.”
Adweek noted that
AT&T marked the day.
Red Bull got the math right but seemed at a loss to tie it to a meaningful product
message. Bing had a smart and brand-appropriate take that pushed its search
Way too many organizations were punning off
Rebecca Black's “Friday,” however. I’m guessing that some social media teams are closer in age to the
interns than the chief executive. But come on, gang: Let’s strive for some
creativity this year.
Pi Day is a natural for technology organizations. Microsoft advanced the
day with a tweet that directed educators to classroom resources: “4 slices
of STEM to get you ready for Pi Day,” a reference to Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math.
Wired used the peg to write about a project it created on Raspberry Pi, a
credit card-sized computer.
“I LOVE PI,” the author enthused. “No, not pie. Pi. The number. This crazy number
shows up in all sorts of weird places. If you take the square root of the
gravitational field (g = 9.8 N/kg) you approximately get pi. Place a mass
on a spring and let it oscillate? Yup, you get pi.”
Try newsjacking that information.
Most organizations found it best to stick with food-related messaging.
Nestle wanted you to celebrate by binge-eating its white chocolate key lime
Stuffing your pie hole
Whole Foods, however, was hoping you’d stuff your pie hole with its fare.
Among other institutions, San Francisco’s Exploratorium got in on the fun,
touting its microscope imaging station, a webcast and, of course,
While not every brand can make the case for a logical Pi Day connection,
one New Jersey historical landmark sought to bridge the gap via Albert
Einstein’s birthday. The world’s most famous physicist was also born on Pi
Day and spent his last years in Princeton.
“Mum’s the word because it’s a surprise!”
Morven Museum & Garden
stated. “Party guests arrive at 10 a.m. and begin making a special Pi Day
craft. Around 10:20 our special guest arrives and we all yell ‘SURPRISE!’
Birthday cake and funny stories by Albert Einstein to follow.”
Cake? Now, hold on here, Morven. I’m sure I read somewhere that Einstein
was partial to white chocolate key lime pie.