Adventures in Ad Translation

December 18, 2006 at 5:53 pm | Posted in food | 11 Comments

Please internet, help me.


I’m sure we can all agree that a tartiflette as produced by Pizza Hut is going to be an affront to all that is cheesy, bacony, and tasty in this world. However, that’s not what concerns me today. What I want to know is, what the hell is up with the tag line?

Le maxi Tartiflette revient… La Queen veut sa tete sur un plateau.

The super Tartiflette is back… The “Queen” wants her (its?) head on a platter.

Why is ‘Queen’ written in English? Whose head does she want on a platter (since the grammar is ambiguous)? I can’t imagine she wants her own head on a platter — that seems both gruesome and pointless. But since when does a tartiflette have a head? Or is there some pun I’m missing?

Presumably, the bizarre phrase is a reference to the biblical story of Salome and John the Baptist. In that case, the queen does indeed ask for John the Baptists’ head on a platter, although she conveys the request via her daughter Salome. But what a strange allusion for a mediocre pizza chain to be making in reference to a cheese and potato dish!

Does Pizza Hut really want us to associate their maxi-tartiflette with the martyrdom of Christ’s cousin? And if that’s not bad enough, they are encouraging us to make a connection between their food and St. John’s severed head. Mmm, sacrilicious. Also: disgusting.

Okay, surely I’m misreading this whole thing. But honestly, I have no idea what they’re getting at. Can anyone help me unravel this sales pitch?



  1. I love a challenge.

    From what I can gather from this page, that slogan is one of three for an ad campaign for the Tartiflette. Reading the others, I presume they all refer to other Pizza Hut pizzas. Of course the Queen pizza wants the Tartiflette’s head on a platter! Unfortunately, I can’t find a simple list of their pizzas on the Flash-heavy website.

    Do I win?

  2. OMG, so the other pizzas are jealous of the tartiflette? That’s mind-boggling. I think the folks at Pizza Hut need to take a big step away from the anthropomorphizing.

  3. Ooo, the intrigue: ‘Bring me the head of the Deliveryman.’ Is there a tartiflette topped with locusts and honey I wonder?

    And I thought Chicago pizzas were complicated! Too funny.


  4. let’s just have home made tartiflette !

  5. Alison is right. La Queen is one of the pizzas on the menu (sauce tomate, mozzarella, jambon, et double champignons frais). The Texan pizza apparently wants the Tartiflette dead or alive.


    …until now, maybe. Hmm. I was wondering about that Texan ad too.

    So has anyone actually tried this tartiflette? I wannit now. Regionalized Pizza Hut food!!

  7. Robyn — you should totally go have it and report back.

  8. OMG. This is hilarious.

    I couldn’t imagine any pizza more disgusting. Potatoes, lardons and roblochon on a pizza hut crust. Ick.

  9. JChevais — Then obviously you never saw this pizza.

  10. YUM, Tartiflette. On pizza? Pas autant.

    I recently discovered special Tartiflette cheese, large, pre-packaged rounds that you cut in half and dump on your sliced potatoes and lardons. Tested it over the break- pas mal, pas mal. But I can’t shake the feeling that the concept is eerily similar to squeeze cheeze.

    Bonne Année!

  11. am – there is definitely some confusion on this point, but I don’t think the tartiflette is on a pizza… I think it’s just a straight on tartiflette served by a pizza place for no good reason. On the other hand, I am not a devoted enough blogger to go to Pizza Hut and find out.

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