Grey New York Touts Papa John’s as a ‘Pizza Family’

By Erik Oster 

Grey New York launched a new campaign for Papa John’s with a 60-second anthem ad celebrating the chain as a “pizza family” … unlike those other big pizza corporations.

The spot opens with a look at “how a pizza company starts a business,” in a board room with the final signature on its Articles of Incorporation. Papa John’s however, started when its eponymous founder sold his muscle car to buy a pizza oven.

The remainder of the ad continues in a similar vein, drawing a contrast between the chain and a cartoonish caricature of a soulless mega corporation.

At one point they seem to call out competitor Domino’s quicker delivery stunts with a look at Pizza Corp.’s 2017 Za-Cycle.


The message is clear, and something of a continuation of the look back at the brand’s origins the agency introduced in 2015, but the over-the-top approach makes that message fall flat. And while it may distance the company from its larger competitors, its argument is less compelling anywhere there’s an actual small family-owned pizza chain in the neighborhood.

The spot concludes with the line, “We’re more than a pizza company, we’re a pizza family,” leading into the familiar tagline “Better Ingredients. Better Pizza.”

But you’re not necessarily a family when you’re there. Those are some other Italians you’re thinking of.