Papa John’s Debuts Reality TV-Style Ad Campaign

Company founder John Schnatter makes authentic pizza deliveries to surprised customers, will continue throughout summer, across USA.
— Chain Leader, 5/5/2009 9:54:00 AM

PRESS RELEASE: LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Twenty-five years ago, “Papa” John Schnatter sold his beloved ’72 Z28 Camaro to fund his other passion: delivering a superior-quality pizza to residents in his hometown of Jeffersonville, IN (near Louisville, KY).

Now, as Papa John’s celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2009, Schnatter’s two loves – his Camaro and delivering Better Ingredients, Better Pizza – have been reunited. But this time around, with more than 3,400 Papa John’s restaurants worldwide, Papa is no longer limited to the Louisville area…he’s coming to YOUR neighborhood. That’s right – Papa’s In the House!

Beginning today, Papa John’s will launch a new ad campaign letting everyone know that the next time they order a Papa John’s pizza for delivery, they should pay special attention to the person at the door. It might very well be Papa John himself, driving a replica of the ’72 Z28 Camaro that he sold to purchase the equipment for his first restaurant, located in a broom closet of his father’s tavern.

The ads, shot over a two-day period throughout Louisville by Papa John’ advertising agency, Z Group, feature Schnatter personally delivering pizzas and being welcomed into real customers’ homes. No paid actors were used in any of the footage.

“We’ve been making our pizza with Better Ingredients for 25 years,” said Schnatter, “and we’re still making them the very same way; we’re just making more of them. This campaign excites me because it provides me the opportunity to get out there and be with our customers.”

In addition to the TV spots, the “Papa’s In the House” campaign will include a new website, banner ads featuring the Camaro, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube integration, boxtoppers, and a special offer for the “Founder’s Favorite” – John’s favorite pizza topped with sausage, pepperoni, and a six-cheese blend.

But the ad campaign is just the beginning of Schnatter’s personal home pizza deliveries. Later this month, the Papa John’s founder will embark on a nationwide road trip – behind the wheel of a ’72 Z28 Camaro – to meet personally with his legion of team members and loyal customers, all the while telling the story of how he’s living and breathing the American Dream. Fans of Papa John may log on to to see photos and videos of his adventures and see which cities he’ll be visiting.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA) is the world’s third largest pizza company. For nine years running, consumers have rated Papa John’s No. 1 in customer satisfaction among all national pizza chains in the highly regarded American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Papa John’s also ranks first among pizza companies in the 2008 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, was honored by Restaurants & Institutions Magazine (R&I) with the 2008 Silver Award for Consumers’ Choice in Chains in the pizza segment, and was named 2007 Pizza Today Chain of the Year. For more information about the company or to order pizza online, visit Papa John’s at