Papa John’s Pizza’s long-term goal was, of course, increased sales. However, we took a different approach to reach this end result. We wanted to know who, exactly, was already engaging with the Papa John’s brand.

Once we uncovered this data, we got to work actively posting (in an average month) more than 800 relevant social updates while responding to around 250 comments.



Our active posting helped increase engagement and conversions, but we also wanted to ensure we actively seek out and target consumers who were loyal to competitors’ brands, and established strategies to convert them.


Sometimes good marketing comes down to delivering the right message at the right moment. Our ability to create highly targeted and triggered messages with laser-like precision aided in Papa John’s enjoying an average return of investment of $4.79.

When it rains …

We created weather-based triggered campaigns to target prospects who were more likely to seek pizza delivery.

Within 15 minutes of rainfall hitting Atlanta, we served an ad with the messaging:


“Stay inside. We’ll deliver!”

Weather-triggered ads earned a 1.83 return on advertising spend.

Harnessing the partnership between pizza and sports

Papa John’s has more than 100 partnerships with teams in the NFL, MLB, NBA and NCAA. We knew how important it was to use these partnerships to drive sales.

We created in-game triggers during sporting events that targeted sports-minded audiences with highly specific messaging.

We also incorporated TV Sync, a cross-platform tool that served digital ads specifically for second-screen views at the same time that Papa John’s ads were show on TV. This second-screen approach to advertising allowed us to reach Papa John’s audiences, no matter where their attention was turned.


We originally partnered with Papa John’s to handle their Atlanta market; however, encouraged by the results of our campaign, they expanded our work to 19 more DMAs, as well as international markets.


A year of paid media results:

$3,962,423 in revenue

184,865 transactions

$21.45 average order value

$4.79 Return on every dollar spent


Whole lotta pizza love

Cardinal managed 32 Papa John’s social properties in 2015. The results of our campaigns speak for themselves:

  • An average of 637 new Likes on Facebook and 85 Followers on Twitter for every market, every month
  • A total of 44,892 Likes on Facebook Pages and 5,342 Twitter Followers for market accounts created by Cardinal
  • Existing social properties which Cardinal inherited in 2015, added 3,324 Facebook Likes and 481 Twitter Followers (not including the Atlanta market)

The ingredients for a long-lasting solution

The results from our partnership with Papa John’s exceeded all expectations, yet more importantly is that the strategies we’ve put into place allow the pizza giant to enjoy continued success for years to come.

Through our redesigned paid and social strategies, Papa John’s is now well positioned to consistently cultivate a community of loyal customers who are not only likely to convert, but will expand Papa John’s messaging to a wider audience.

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