Why Papa John’s got spicy with its parody of an advertising icon

The Drum 09 Jul 2021 05:00

Papa John’s won the ‘New Product Launch’ category at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021 with its ‘New Spice Guy’ campaign. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the secrets of this successful project…

The challenge

In summer 2020, the nation needed humour as much as it needed sunshine and hand sanitiser. Our objectives for this campaign were:

  • To launch a range of spicy new pizzas, all using a new yellow Amarillo chilli base instead of regular tomato pizza sauce
  • Bring a smile to the nation’s faces
  • Do it all during a national lockdown and the restrictions that it brings
  • Launch a campaign that speaks to our Gen-Z audience by tapping into cultural moments that they can relate to

The strategy

We wanted to introduce our four new spicy pizzas with a strategy that captured attention and attracted new customers by doing something a bit different and working with influencers in a new way.

To land this message we decided to pay homage and parody one of the most famous spicy ad campaigns of recent decades… the Old Spice Guy!

The ad created a parody of the Old Spice ads with their suave and commanding central character given a British twist. As this is a new range of spicy pizzas, we birth a hero for this new fiery frontier: the New Spice Guy.

The result is a ‘Hollywood style’ advert reproduced in a dank studio in South London with cuts to the green-screen to highlight the dodgy budget production.

The ad was shown on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter; digital display; YouTube bumper ads; and PPC discovery ads.

The results

  • Nominated for PR Week’s best campaign for July (coming second)
  • Over 20m YouTube impressions
  • 19m YouTube views
  • Over 10m impressions across Facebook and Instagram
  • Over 18k link clicks from social media
  • 43 Pieces of traditional media
  • 7,941,219 media reach
  • 25 pieces of organic social media coverage

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Luke TrottmanLove IslandColin McFarlaneHollywoodInstagram
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