Papa John's - Sending A Gen-Z Brand Viral On A Global Scale

Papa Johns is one of the leading global fast-food outlets operating across 44 different countries. We were bought on by the brand as their lead European creative agency tasked at creating a brand strategy to help capture the attention of the Gen Z audience across 20+ markets, as well as executing their first two global campaigns under this strategy.

We knew that Gen Z required much more from their brand than simply offer based comms and a strong product. Simply serving Gen Z straight up advertising isn’t good enough. Tapping into sub-cultures where this audience lived was our way to integrate Papa John’s as a fast-food choice. We created an annual strategy to collab with people in the areas of culture that mattered most to their target audience.

Papa X Cheddar

First was fashion. Papa Johns wanted to create noise on a global scale for their new menu items with an idea that centered around the world’s most famous cheese, cheddar. Their ambition was to create a digital campaign that would get the world talking about their new cheddar range.

We created the ‘Cheddar Drop’, the world’s first fashion meets food collaboration of it’s kind. Using a world-famous director, famous for work on brands like adidas and Nike, and teaming up with hip-hop artist B-Zino, we launched Papa John’s new pizza range like a hip-hop music launch. Not stopping there we teamed up with UK marketplace giant, Depop to make the Papa x Cheddar fashion range completely shoppable – all proceeds went to their selected food bank charity.

And how did we do?

The Papa X Cheddar campaign resulted in one of Papa John’s most successful launches of 2021, generating an estimated $1.26m of incremental sales of Cheddar pizzas in the first six weeks. Almost 130 items of press coverage around the world were generated for the campaign with an online reach of circa one billion. It was also the first time all markets have taken up an idea globally at Papa John’s.

Fresh Soul

Next up was music, inspired by the universal power of music to uplift the soul and spirit, we took a fresh look at soul and the food that went with it. We teamed up with up and coming soul sensation and Gen Z icon, BaggE to create a backing track. A Papa John’s store was transformed into an intimate party within the Fresh Soul ad spot, kitted out with DJs and vinyl sleeves as pizza boxes. The party then came to life in partnership with Highlight PR and New Musical Express (NME) at the House of Papa event, the world’s first global pizza party with performances from BaggE and three other independent artists selected by NME.

As the year goes on Papa John’s will continue to tap into different relevant sub-cultures. Putting their brand at the heart of where their audience lives and creating ideas that grab attention amongst them for all the right reasons.



Papa John's - Sending A Gen-Z Brand Viral

Using creativity to send a Gen-Z viral on a global scale.

Feel free to get in touch

We'd love to chat


[email protected]