A trend worth captioning

Papa Johns

Project: New Creative


Papa Johns West—a master franchisor that owns all Papa Johns locations in Alberta and several in Manitoba—was looking for an integrated agency partner to develop a new creative platform and upper-funnel mass media strategy that would support their harder-working digital media program by increasing awareness of their brand.

Pizza has been a longstanding go-to dish for movie night—there aren’t many better options for a Netflix binge fest on a Friday night. But we also noticed a growing pop-culture trend—the increasing use and adoption of subtitles. As it turns out, the number of Netflix subscribers using subtitles is on the rise according to the Wall Street Journal.

We used appetizing product photos to pay off headlines designed as overly descriptive subtitles. With entertainment and pizza so closely linked, our “Pizz-ubtitles” connects to our target audience by capitalizing on the growing trend. Our media approach leaned on high-frequency TV and radio spots for the drive home, as well as complementary out-of-home tactics including buses and strategically placed billboards near restaurants to support awareness building, and subsequently sales.

Our strategy achieved 44.3 million impressions—19% higher than our initial estimate. And while harder-working digital tactics make up a significant portion of the modern media mix for quick service restaurants, Papa Johns proprietary data tells an important story. Their store sales peaked during periods when all of our traditional media tactics were in market with the highest peaks occurring during combined media efforts, reaffirming the importance and effectiveness of awareness-driving mass media advertising in this category.

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