Pizza Chain Gets $US10 Million In Free Publicity, Has Huge Sales Surge After Ellen's Oscars Bit

During Sunday’s Academy Awards, show host Ellen DeGeneres took it upon herself to feed the A-list actors in attendance by ordering 10 large pizzas and passing them out throughout the star-studded crowd.

After a call was placed to Big Mama’s and Papa’s pizzeria around 5pm, delivery guy Edgar had no idea he would be dragged into the audience to deliver pizza to Oscar nominees in front of 43 million viewers.

But the images of Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Jared Leto, and Brad Pitt chomping down on the greasy ‘za proved to be the most incredible and priceless of advertising for the 20-location pizza chain in Southern California.

According to Variety, a 30-second commercial spot during the Oscars broadcast costs around $US1.8 million,

Ellen spent about two whole minutes distributing the slices and then another minute collecting money, so TMZ estimates the free advertising for the pizzeria would total around $US10.8 million.

The site points out that since the chain spent no money in actually producing a commercial, they pretty much received “the best ad deal in the history of television.”

The pizzeria’s franchise owner confirmed the free advertising has been paying off big time.

“I would say [sales increased] 300, or 400, or 500 per cent,” Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizza franchiser Aro Agakhanyan told TheWrap. “We got a lot of orders, a lot of online orders. We had over 60,000 visitors on our website in one hour; there were a lot of things happening.”

According to Agakhanyan, DeGeneres is “a regular customer” at the chain’s Burbank location,which is near her daytime talk show’s studio — however, the delivery order for the Oscars telecast was placed Sunday at a different location closer to the Dolby Theatre.

“She just called over there — just made a pizza delivery order,” Agakhanyan recalled. “And then the person who took the delivery, actually, he is the franchisee of the location. It was so busy that he took the delivery himself.”

“He had no idea that he was walking to the front stage,” Agakhanyan confirmed. “He was not aware of that.”

After trying to collect money from Sandra Bullock and Harvey Weinstein to tip the delivery guy on live television, DeGeneres gave him a $US1,000 tip on her talk show Monday following the awards show.

Watch Edgar recall the crazy experience below on “Ellen”:

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