Monday, May 29, 2023

Papa John’s Super Bowl XLIII Touchdown

The best kind of publicity is free publicity. It can increase your credibility, visibility and ultimately, sales.

Papa John’s, arguably the scrappiest of the top three pizza chains, sponsored a rather creative publicity promotion this past Super Bowl Sunday.

Other pizza chains – namely Domino’s and Pizza Hut – opted to introduce new products on the biggest pizza-delivery night of the year. While no self-respecting media outlet covers a mere menu addition, they do, however, cover promotions like this:

If the opening kick-off in Super Bowl XLIII is returned for a touchdown, customers get a large pizza for 25 cents.

This promotion was great on several levels.

1) It was covered by both national and regional news outlets as a news story. Papa John’s essentially got a free “commercial” during primetime news.

2) Their offer had a high potential return with minimal risk. I’m told the insurance policy on the promotion was less than $10,000.

3) The promotion was tied to the outcome of one of the most watched television programs of the year.

4) They made good use of social media. Former Green Bay Packer Desmond Howard, who holds the record for longest kickoff returned for a touchdown in Super Bowl history, invited consumers via a video posted on YouTube to register for a chance to win a 25 cent pizza. I’m sure the promotion would have had even better results had they used a Chicago Bear (personal bias  ;) )

4) Customers had to “pre-register” in order to be eligible for the offer. In other words, Papa John’s collected names, addresses, phone numbers and birthdates of potential customers. That’s the only way you could be eligible for the offer.

And you know what they’re going to do with those?

That’s right. They can market to this warm list over and over and over again.

Papa John’s got Super Bowl coverage without paying a Super Bowl price.

How can you incorporate a similar publicity tactic in your business?

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