- Papa John's International has selected Laundry Service as its new creative agency of record (AOR), the company announced in a press release. Laundry Service was named after a review started in September that included around eight agencies.
- The agency will take over as Papa John's creative AOR and strategic agency partners across all marketing channels starting Jan. 1, 2018. It ranked on Ad Age's 2017 Agency A-List and clients include Jordan Brand, Nike, Beats by Dre and T-Mobile. The press release mentioned Laundry Service uses "holistic audience data" to create campaigns throughout the customer journey
- "We're an e-commerce brand — it’s time we stop thinking in TV scripts,” Brandon Rhoten, CMO of Papa John's, said in a statement. "Laundry Service's take on content aligns to where we want to go as a brand, and we couldn't be more excited to choose this young, digital-first agency as our new creative partner."
Papa John's brought on Rhoten as global CMO in June following his successful stint at Wendy's. The marketer's previous tenure included 17 consecutive quarters of growth for the fast food chain, along with helping build out the brand's strong reputation on digital and social media — two areas of success he's clearly trying to now translate to Papa John's with the new creative AOR pick.
Rhoten's comments about moving away from TV are especially interesting, as much of Papa John's advertising is focused on commercials that include the company's founder and CEO John Schnatter, who essentially doubles as a brand mascot through his catchphrase "better ingredients, better pizza, Papa John's." How prominently Schnatter will be featured in newfangled digital initiatives remains to be seen, but his absence would signal a sea change in how the brand thinks about its marketing beyond a channel-specific focus.
Calling Papa John's an "e-commerce brand" plays into that shift as well, and underscores how more quick-service restaurants are building out a mobile and digital-first business focus in order to meet the demands of young consumers who are more often favoring healthier eating options. Domino's has been the pizza category leader in terms of pouring more resources into mobile and online ordering, being followed by Yum! Brands Pizza Hut, which introduced a delivery tracker and revamped loyalty program focused on its app earlier this year.
Papa John's is clearly looking to get a leg-up in this space with the help of Laundry Service, which leverages data along the consumer path to purchase to craft more relevant campaigns.