Papa John’s hired Camp & King as the company’s new creative agency after a year with Endeavor Global Marketing.
This is the third agency jump by Papa John’s in less than two years. They hired Laundry Service in 2017 and left by May 2018. They then hired Endeavor Global Marketing in August 2018 after Laundry Services left in less than a year. The biggest and most popular work created by Endeavor for Papa John’s was their Voices campaign which focused on employees’ stories.
The switch happened after Karlin Lindhart, Chief Marketing Officer joined Papa John’s last March in preparation for its launch of their ads featuring brand ambassador Shaquille O’Neal. The 4th most popular pizza chain in the U.S. is fighting a sale due to a comment made by its founder and then executive John Schnatter.
Sale decline due to negative publicity
Schnatter’s comments pertained to the NFL’s handling of player protestants in the fall of 2017. It brought on a lot of negative publicity due to the fact that Papa John’s was an NFL sponsor at that time. This coupled with the use of a racial slur while on a training call with Laundry Service has created a distrust between customers and the Pizza chain.
Camp & King partnership
Currently, Camp & King is working as the creative and strategic agency partner for Papa John’s. Kristin Barbour, Camp & King’s Chicago office’s managing director will be guiding the team. She will be joined by Amir Farhang, a filmmaker working with Hungry Man Productions and has worked with several NBA players before.
Papa John’s remains optimistic
Despite sales obstacles, Papa John’s remains positive, especially with the addition of O’Neal as one of their brand ambassadors. They already shared that they’ll be spending $40 million more on their marketing for the second quarter of 2019 and 2020.
The retired NBA star posted about his new deal with Papa John’s in his social media last week. O’Neal shared a short video on Twitter and Instagram of an inside peek of Papa John’s board meeting. He then showed an item being taste-tested and called it Papadia. The Papadia looked like a calzone sliced into bits and pieces and served with dipping sauce.
“We are very excited to get him off the bench and into a new national advertising campaign coming up this fall,” said CEO Steve Ritchie while discussing the company’s plans with O’Neal.
The coast is bright for Papa John’s and they hope for it to be brighter with the change of creative agency.