Tag Archives: ethics

Papa’s Story

Marketers spend much time and energy figuring out how best to create brand loyalty for their clients. Brand loyalty can be described as the extent to which consumers are faithful to a brand (repeat purchases), regardless of marketing pressure by competing brands (Business Directory).

An effective way to create brand loyalty among todays consumer is to create a narrative your target audience can relate to. “Storytelling—in its many forms—is one of the most powerful tools for presenting the truths of your product, service, or brand” (MarketingProfs). A storytelling approach can “help brands more empathically interconnect with the buying minds of their customers. There is simply more for them to hold onto” (MarketingProfs).

Lets look at this narrative Papa John’s put together in 2011.

“Stories are slices of life that can subtly reflect bits and pieces of common ground between consumer and brand” (MarketingProfs).  In what ways does “Papa John Telling the Papa John’s Story” execute this well?

Nostalgia. John Schnatte, CEO begins his monologue by reminiscing about when he was young. “When I was growing up as a boy, my mentor was my papa.”  The audience relates, thinking about their own experience growing up.

Family values. Speaking warmly of his grandfather, he says that since the beginning, Papa John’s has never forgot what mattered most. “He had a fanaticism of doing things in a high-class manner…One of our fundamental beliefs from the get-go was we were gonna be a family run, independent pizzeria–no matter how big we got.”  Even though Papa John’s is a franchise with over 4,000 stores nationwide, Schnatte asks that you still think of the company as a mom-and-pop shop.

Just like you. When I was fifteen I was wershing [washing] dishes…and I hated washing dishes and the…brothers gave me a raise, and I got to make pizzas. I worked as a dishwasher for close to five years. I hated washing dishes. I got a raise. Now I’m starting to relate to this guy! Throughout the video, we see scenes of this millionaire working side by side on the assembly line with his “teammates”, laughing and getting his hands dirty, “saucin” and “slappin the dough”. This can make an audience think he’s in the kitchen making pizza. He’s not.

Care about employees. “The thing I am most proud of today is our 80,000 team members worldwide, they don’t do anything second rate…[they] put their best foot forward…We founded Papa John’s with two simple premises: take care of your people, and make the best pizza you can.” Papa John’s isn’t like other companies that treat their employees badly. Schnatte cares about his workers and values them so much he calls them his teammates.

Do you think Schnatte really feels this way about his teammates, after comments he made suggesting Papa John’s would cut employees’ hours and raise prices in anticipation of the Affordable Healthcare mandate?

Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Better get a second Job

Are you loyal to any brands because of a story you were told? Research the WHO behind the marketing in order to distinguish between what the company wants you to see and what’s actually there.

W/P Option 2: 04/19

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Goodman’s American Pie and Transparency

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know all about Domino’s radical marketing strategy called the “Oh Yes We Did” campaign. The strategy was groundbreaking for the industry. Imagine: a multi-national company being honest and transparent in their food products and marketing; it’s unheard of!

Way before Domino’s began to practice the novel concept [hint: sarcasm] of  “transparency”, odds are, your local independently owned pizza shop was doing it first. Take Goodman’s American Pie in my hometown of Ludlow, Vermont for example. Goodman’s American Pie is located less than a mile away from the well known ski resort, Okemo Mountain. On a typical Friday night in the winter “the wait” for a pizza can be up to two and a half hours as mountain-goers process into town from NY, NJ, MA, CONN, etc. This video was shot in the winter of 2011, on a Friday night, before the mayhem, and shows the everybody the pizza making process– from start to finish. How’s that for transparency?

This video is part two of a series called Behind The Bus, which you can take literally, because what separates the kitchen area from the dining area is a extended VW Bus. See the first video here.

Other things GAP does well: The small business has a fairly static website with basic information anyone would need to know to order and pick up a pizza. However, they have a very active Facebook  with new posts almost every day and over 800 “Likes”. They also have a Twitter (@woodfiredza), with fewer posts and fewer followers (about 130).

Mustache

The best part about Goodman’s American Pie’s marketing strategy: it’s unpretentious. The Facebook page is handled by the owners who post whatever they want: pizza promotions and events–yes, but also family photos, memes, Clint Eastwood pictures, mustaches, car photos–anything of interest. And customers eat it up! Unlike Domino’s “transparency” campaign, Goodman’s American Pie doesn’t have to pay through the roof (over 185.5 million dollars annually) trying to convince customers they run an honest business. Transparency is automatic for GAP, and that’s evident for anyone who follows their Facebook account.

Clint: Pizza is Good For the Soul

NP 04/16

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Filed under Campaigns, Media Literacy, NP, Vermont

A Pizza You Can’t Refuse

Godfathers Pizza
“Besides great-tasting pizza, we’ve got somethin’ else that those other wiseguys don’t. The Godfather. Not only does The Godfather make sure our pizzas are made just the way you like ’em, but he also adds an element of fun that the whole mob can enjoy.” – Godfathers Pizza

Godfathers Pizza is a large restaurant chain owned by Pillsbury and has over 600 locations in 39 states throughout the US. The company’s marketing campaign has remained largely unchanged since it’s founding in the 1970s, basing much of it’s image on the popular book-turned-film The Godfather (1972). From using the borrowed slogan, “A Pizza You Can’t Refuse”, to employing a knock off Don Corleone type actor full time for advertisements, to using the vernacular of a stereotypical New York mob guy throughout the website, I would say that Godfathers is laying it on a little thick. If you are unfamiliar with the famous line, take a quick look.

Now look at a Godfather’s ad from the 1980’s.

How cheesy can you get? (No pun intended).

Reviewing Godfather’s Pizza’s commercials and website had me thinking about ethics in marketing. The American Marketing Association has this to say about respect in their statement of ethics on their website.

             Respect – to acknowledge the basic human dignity of all stakeholders.  To this end, we will:

  • Value individual differences and avoid stereotyping customers or depicting demographic groups (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation) in a negative or dehumanizing way.
  • Make every effort to understand and respectfully treat buyers, suppliers, intermediaries and distributors from all cultures.
  • Acknowledge the contributions of others, such as consultants, employees and coworkers, to marketing endeavors.

In an Op-Ed piece published on the New York Times in 2011, criticizing former Presidential candidate Herman Cain (previous CEO of Godfather’s Pizza), John Mariani talks about the ethnic stereotyping of Godfather’s Pizza. He wrote, Perhaps because Italian-Americans have generally integrated into society at large, it has become acceptable to mock them. Thus we have the “goombahs” of “The Sopranos” and the “guidos” of “Jersey Shore.” Mariani goes on to say that other assimilated immigrant groups have been spared such mockery.

I have to agree with Mariani on this one. Although Godfather Pizza’s long standing campaign seems to be effective, I think that it is in bad taste, escalating a stereotype on Italian Americans that should remain in the past. It seems to me that in America today it is okay to mock certain ethnic groups, but others are protected, especially from such blatant examples of ethnic stereotyping like Godfather’s Pizza.

What do you guys think? Is Godfather’s Pizza practicing good ethics in their marketing and advertising?

NP 3/12

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Filed under Ethics, NP