Donatos Rides Founder’s Zeal

Martin/Williams capitalizes on Donatos founder Jim Grote’s enthusiasm for his product in a new campaign for the pizza chain.

“The guy has genuine enthusiasm. It infects the entire organization,” said Tom Kelly, executive creative director at the Minneapolis agency. “We wanted to capture a bit of that and get it out there.”

The new TV campaign, which broke last week and will be airing in regional markets during the Super Bowl, features Grote saying the Columbus, Ohio, pizza chain is about “more than food.” The spot intercuts shots of workers talking about the pizza and customers gathering at the restaurants.

“Donatos has been about better pizza, more choices and a relationship with customers,” said Tom Krouse, svp of marketing at Do-natos. “It is all very much in line with what people are looking for [in their pizza].”

The new spots are a departure from the humorous approach M/W de-veloped last year in its first work for the chain. One spot at Donatos depicted workers putting toppings on pizza as if they were playing chess.

“Last year, we wanted to talk about the employees’ pizza zeal-otry,” Kelly said. “[This year], we wanted to get the energy that Jim Grote brings to the party.”

The new spots retain “Respect the pizza” as their tagline.