Integrated Local & National Strategy

Making Pizza More Personal—To Delicious Results

Papa Johns
What We Did
Paid Media, Paid Social, Organic Social, Community Management, Influencer Marketing & Partnerships, OTT

A global brand beloved by families for nearly 40 years, Papa Johns is an iconic name in the pizza delivery and QSR space. Its franchises, which number over 5,000, make it the third-largest pizza company in the world. Papa Johns even pioneered ordering pizza online in 2002. But its standing in the fast-casual space was threatened when delivery aggregators like UberEats, DoorDash and GrubHub became ubiquitous during the pandemic. 

By 2020, Americans could order nearly any food from any restaurant online and have it delivered to their home. Competition in the food delivery market was fierce and growing. Papa Johns challenged us to reimagine their marketing strategy, focusing more on repeat customers with new targeted promotions.

Despite the brand’s national recognition, we knew that a tailored local approach would connect with customers in a way that the national aggregators couldn’t. Using a wealth of first-party data and a unique cross-channel strategy, we were primed to deliver Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Better Performance.

Social, Snaps & Streaming

With intimate knowledge of how Papa Johns fans spend their time online, we devised a targeted social media strategy across Meta, Snapchat and video game livestreaming platform Twitch. We created unique content for each platform, combining national promotions with local messaging for a personalized customer experience in each DMA.


To grow awareness among prospective customers on Facebook, we engaged interest-based and purchase-behavior lookalike audiences within a five-mile radius of each store location. This filled the customer funnel with highly qualified prospects that we could later convert with remarketing tactics. Captivating content, tailored messages and unique offers ensured that we connected with users at key points throughout the purchase journey.

We also had access to first-party data, including past customers’ order history, to re-engage the brand’s existing fan base. We created customized ads for customers based on their favorite products, like promoting the Epic Pepperoni-Stuffed Crust Pizza to a “pepperoni lovers” audience.

Ad examples for Papa Johns with map of targetting

3,065,869 2022 Total Reach

12:1 ROAS Across 17 DMAs


Our success using first-party data on Facebook inspired a similar approach on Snapchat. We layered purchase data with zip codes around store locations and persona audiences, targeting users with an affinity for sports, gaming, fast food, fast casual dining and pizza-specific restaurants. This allowed us to connect the brand with a broader, younger audience on Snapchat, building yet another source of top-funnel prospects.

Two phones with Snapchat ads in them

1,075,040 2022 Total Reach

$22.59 ROAS


Our newest strategy involved a campaign on the video game livestreaming platform Twitch. Research showed that nearly all Twitch users eat at QSRs, most on a weekly basis, though most did not yet associate any pizza QSR with gaming. This presented Papa Johns an exciting opportunity to connect with fans in a new space.

Paid Media

Going Local On Paid Search

Our paid search strategists built a framework that used strategic keywords to capture local queries while also serving a national target audience. For branded and non-branded search campaigns, we relied on a local strategy to find high-intent users searching for food delivery in their area. A test-and-learn approach helped us surgically optimize our bidding toward those most likely to click and convert. This refined automated bidding strategy increased our efficiency and reached a higher return on ad spend.

Papa Johns paid search example ad
Paid Media Paid Social Organic Social Community Management Influencer Marketing & Partnerships OTT
Paid Media Paid Social Organic Social Community Management Influencer Marketing & Partnerships OTT

Giving Viewers Something To Chew On

As YouTube continues to dominate in video streaming viewership, and with over 40 percent of YouTube streams taking place on a smart TV, we knew brand presence on the platform was crucial to our strategy. To increase customer order frequency, we executed prospecting and remarketing campaigns on YouTube and Google Display Network. The engaging animations and video content followed the same personalized strategy that succeeded on social, generating a 45% view rate and $0.03 CPV.

YouTube screenshot examples from Papa Johns

A National Name With A Local Presence

We established partnerships between franchisees and professional sports teams, universities, community organizations and more to further engrain the Papa Johns brand in its local communities. To build and sustain these relationships, the brand was present for key social and sporting events, driving a deeper association with the teams and schools our customers loved. These strategic partnerships established Papa Johns as a QSR that cared about connecting with its customers beyond the online transaction.

Examples of Papa John's ads with different sport team partnerships

The Results

A High-Powered Marketing Machine

The urgent need to compete with delivery aggregators motivated our teams to get creative and strategic with our audiences, platforms and messaging. Bold testing tactics, like connecting with a new gamer audience, customizing content with first-party data and blending national offers with local targeting, delivered prolific returns and impressive brand loyalty.

25% Decrease In CPC

11% Increase in CTR

13% Improvement in Cost Per Sale

18% Increase in Return On Ad Spend