What is in this article?:
- Papa John's looks to boost brand with new ad agency
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The pizza chain aims to leverage the momentum gained over the past few years with its positioning and online ordering.
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For the Sept. 29-ended third quarter, domestic same-store sales for Papa John’s rose 5.1 percent at company-owned restaurants and 0.6 percent at franchised locations.
Participating in his first earnings call with Papa John’s on Nov. 6, Kraut remarked that the chain’s marketing situation was “extremely healthy” given Papa John’s long-term positioning of “better ingredients, better pizza,” its top ranking in the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and its lead in digital ordering, which produces about 45 percent of sales.
“It’s a great place for me to be kind of coming in and trying to take the marketing effort to the next level,” Kraut said, “and I think what you can expect from me is really sharpening the focus in terms of resources and commitment of resources.”
He added that he would seek to take advantage of Papa John’s customers’ growing use of digital and social media, “which for us is I think a pretty quick pivot point, since we’re already well-established in those areas.”
Also, the chain’s multiyear partnership with the NFL as the “official pizza sponsor” has been “a quite visible statement of our leadership in marketing and our coming of age as a very well-positioned, big brand that customers trust,” Kraut said.
ZenMango president Sen agreed that over the past couple of years, Papa John’s has found relevant, new ways to remind customers about the “better ingredients, better pizza” positioning.
“The core of the creative has remained the same all these years, but it hasn’t become boring,” Sen said. “There’s no hotter property in the NFL this year than [Papa John’s spokesman and franchisee] Peyton Manning. Papa John’s gives us more relevant ways of getting the same message to us.”
As such, much of the content of the chain’s advertising — focused on Schnatter, the quality story and football — likely will not change much, Sen speculated. The brand’s talk of capitalizing on momentum in its marketing does not necessarily mean Papa John’s is looking for a giant agency as its next partner, either, Sen said.
“It’s no longer the size of the agency that matters,” he said. “All these boutique agencies out there can give the same kind of boost different brands need. Papa John’s is trying to find who is best-suited to take them to that next level.”
Sen worked at Papa John’s International as vice president of marketing and operations services from 1997 to 2001. He does not consult for the brand through his ZenMango firm.
Papa John’s operates or franchises approximately 4,300 restaurants in the United States and 35 foreign markets.
Contact Mark Brandau at email@example.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN