Tag Archives: pizza media

The Metrics of Pizza

Earlier this week, I came across an analysis of the top five American pizza brands in social media. True Social Metrics took a look at the Facebook activity of  Pizza Hut, Domino’sPapa John’s,  Little Ceasar’s and Papa Murphy’s to evaluate the effectiveness of the brands’ social media campaigns. Here is what they came up with.

These analytics require some explanation and so I’ll give you a brief rundown.

The conversation rate refers to the number of audience comments or replies per post and provides quantitative as well as qualitative data about the audience. The amplification rate refers to the rate at which your followers take your content and share it through their network. The applause rate is the number of likes per post.
These measurements provide unique statistics that indicate what your brand is doing well and where it can improve.

Pizza Hut nailed it, with consistency cross the board and should just keep on keeping on.

Curiously, Domino’s takes the lead in the applause rate. “Liking” a post is the least engaging thing a follower can do, and so one might consider that the applause rate may not be the greatest indication of effectiveness. If the goal is to maximize audience participation, is Domino’s is posting enough engaging material?

Don’t let the graphic deceive you, Little Ceasars‘ is doing well. The brand is consistent in all three categories; the numbers are just smaller. This makes sense, with 6x less fans than Pizza Hut.

According to the study, Papa John’s‘ activity is dangerous because they have many comments but few likes or shares. What would cause this?  A closer look…

Check out a previous post on Papa John’s for more info on this controversy.

Lastly, Papa Murphy’s is doing alright. It might not hurt for them, like Domino’s, to reach out to their fans by posting more engaging content.

I was totally enlightened by these social media metrics and glad to share them with you guys. I think the most important thing to take away from this analysis is that numbers mean very little if the context and meaning behind them are neglected. These metrics are a way to view your campaign comprehensively, but brands should not make the mistake of ignoring the content behind the numbers.

For more information about how to measure a brand’s social media effectiveness, I reccomend Occam’s Razor‘s “Best Social Media Metrics: Conversation, Amplification, Applause, Economic Value”.

NP 4/30

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Children’s Pizza Marketing

“Where a kid can be a kid”

I have never been to Chuck E. Cheese’s, and yet hearing this slogan evokes deep-rooted memories of a time in my life when I thought the colorful, fun-filled restaurant epitomized what it meant to be <10 years old. I pleaded with my parents countless times to go. Alas, they never even entertained the idea. And so, my childhood is marked by the scar of never truly experiencing the only place on earth “Where a kid can be a kid”.

Throughout the last few months, I have been analyzing pizza restaurants’ marketing, advertising, and communication strategies. The companies I have observed (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Little Caesar’s, Godfathers, and Goodman’s American Pie) are all lacking in one area: marketing aimed at children. According to Pizza Marketing Quarterly, there are five key elements for a successful kids marketing program for pizzerias. This is what stood out to me the most.

  • From supplying a coloring page menu, to offering a “kids cut” on children’s slices, to providing a kids meal option (a slice, a dessert, and a drink) are big hits for parents who are trying to avoid a fuss-free meal.
  • A separate kids’ space can be utilized for children to make noise and run around while they are waiting to eat. Some restaurants go as far as giving kids a piece of pizza dough to play with upon arrival.
  • Sponsoring a local sports team by hosting events, dinners, and fundraisers will bring parents to your restaurant and can help develop loyalty to your business.
  • Alami notes that employees “should engage children of all ages by looking them in the eye, talking to them and smiling, and know how to anticipate kids’ needs, such as extra napkins and plastic water cups with covers and straws for toddlers.”

And now I know why many restaurants choose not to market to kids. Besides being a less important demographic (kids don’t have purchasing power), children are a nightmare to serve and a nightmare to be around while your trying to eat dinner. It sounded to me like Morin was writing about ways to turn your restaurant into a sticky, loud, playground where parents can drop their kids off to be babysat while they enjoy a beer as far away as possible. What do you think? Am I just bitter about my adult-centered childhood or are you in agreement?

screaming children at restaurants

my kind of dining experience

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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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Every Pizza Ad Ever

Watch Telekinesis Studios “Every Pizza Ad Ever“, a parody of what I think may have been in jest of Papa John’s commercials.

Compare to:

and:

The last one was a little bit sexy, don’t you think? I think what makes Telekinesis Studio’s parody funny is that it is so accurate. Despite that fact that there is an evident formula to making a pizza commercial, Papa John’s commercials are very effective in stimulating behavior in the audience (to go out and buy Papa Johns Pizza!).

A few persuasive techniques being utilized in these ads taken from the ACME Coalition for Media Education:

Plain Folks: The opposite of testimonial; persuading by appealing to the common man or portraying yourself as “just one of the guys/gals.” CEO and Founder of Papa John’s portrayed as just an average Joe starting up a multi-millin dollar pizza chain. He reaches out to his customers by revealing a little about himself: his favorite pizza.

Beautiful People: Persuading through images of good-looking individuals to sell products, lifestyles, behaviors, or ideas. There’s no denying Papa is a handsome guy! And the make-up helps!

Hyperbole: Persuading by making exaggerated claims. Found all the time in advertising media. “Better Ingredients, Better Pizza, Papa Johns”. Better than what, really? And how do we know?!

Reptilian Brain: In the second Papa Johns commercial, the slow motion images of the food being prepared targets a part of the human brain known as the “Reptilian” brain. This brain reacts to stimulation in four ways: Eating, Mating, Fighting, or Flighting. The slow images of the food trigger the primal brain to want to eat.

Do you see any other persuasive techniques in these commercials that might make an audience want to order for delivery?! Let me know your thoughts below!

NP 4/09

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Pizza Hut Hut Hike

According to NRN Pizza Hut hit a single-day sales record on Superbowl Sunday this year with this commercial, compiled of  crowd sourced clips playing football. Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter, they asked fans to submit videos of themselves playing football and saying  “Hut Hut Hut” to appear in a spot during the Superbowl. They weren’t alone in soliciting user-generated content this football season. Companies like Pepsi, Doritos, and Lincoln also creatively crowdsourced for, what most would argue, the most important advertising day of the year in America.

What is it about crowdsourcing that is so effective? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the phenomena, here is a short video to get you up to speed.

Crowdsourcing in advertising embraces the idea that your customers are not only consumers, but producers as well. They are your target audience, but can also be used to perpetuate your brand identity among greater audiences. ” Such opportunities give consumers the illusion that they’re in the driver’s seat. But the real driver: Advertisers are trying to coax consumers into getting more involved with their brands” (USA Today).

This Pizza Hut commercial was very successful. Users submitted their footage online, voluntarily, with the desire to be in a national ad, maybe without realizing they would become a part of the Pizza Hut brand.

Crowdsourcing, in the case of this Pizza Hut Superbowl commercial, is utilizing “Plain Folks”, a technique that persuades people “by appealing to the common man” (ACME). Often times in advertising, companies spend a lot of time and money to make actors / scenes appear to be normal / typical and relatable to their target audience. The great thing about crowdsourcing for advertisements is that the people who submitted their own user generated videos are already in Pizza Hut’s target audience. Much less manipulation has to go into the production of the commercial this way, aside from choosing and compiling which videos they wish to use.

Crowdsourcing is a trend in advertising for a variety of industries. How long do you think it will be until it runs its course?

NP 3/26

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Pulling the Cheese : Domino’s Food Styling and Pizza Porn

You’re sitting at home watching TV when a pizza advertisement comes on. By the end of the commercial, you’re salivating in your mouth at the images you just saw on the screen. You pick up the phone, call Domino‘s and order a pie for delivery. You’re impatient, eagerly awaiting to take a bite of the slice you just saw on TV. 20 minutes later you pay the delivery driver and open the box, expecting to see this:

Pizza Porn

Pizza Porn

But what you really see is this:

“Food photography (or food porn as it’s deemed in this age of Food Network plate-ogling) can make you hungry with a mere glance.  But it’s not easy to get things looking so appetizing and alluring. It takes a ton of skill, timing, artistry, and even some house hold items you should never put in your mouth.” – Fox News

Ever wonder what the process of making a Domino’s commercial looks like? Take a look:

“Food stylists are amazing. They have to do many things to the food to make it look beautiful…They use many tools to make that pizza look the best.” – Hand Model, Domino’s Pizza

It takes “150 people to get down 30 seconds of camera time…if we’re lucky, we get one shot an hour.” – Sam Fauser, Domino’s Pizza Chef

I never thought that they would cut the pizza using a sawzall, or screw down the crust so the cheese will pull just right. It makes sense, I mean how many times have you pulled a slice out of the box and took the cheese off the whole pie?

Although Domino’s released this video to be more transparent, as part of their famous “Oh Yes We Did” campaign, they certainly are not the only company utilizing food styling. Almost every food commercial, photograph, and television show employ at least a little bit food styling to make the food look beautiful.

I haven’t decided yet where I stand about the ethics of “Food Porn”. It’s not unlike other commercials which use different means of persuasion (i.e. beautiful people, humor, values, flattery, straw man). To me, it’s just another important aspect of being media literate. Questioning food media production should be considered thoughtfully like any other kind of media. Some people argue that Food Porn does not practice good ethics, and can be misleading to consumers. What do you guys think? Should you be able to photograph your cake and eat it, too?

WP 3/22

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