Posted December 10, 2008 2:38 pm by with 9 comments

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At first glance, this article about Papa John’s recent online ad campaign suggests that web advertising kicks the butt of everything else:

Papa John’s launched a one-day Web campaign with a display ad on Google last Friday that resulted in online weekend sales that were up between 15% and 20% over a typical weekend, the pizza giant says. Mobile orders also rose.

The ads ran on MySpace,, and other entertainment, food, news, sports and game sites promoting a free medium-size cheese pizza to anyone registering to receive Papa John’s emails.

As an internet marketer I’m all for any research that reinforces the notion that web advertising results in better ROI than other types of marketing campaigns.

Then I stepped back and gave this some thought.

Was it the online ads that were a success or the free pizza? What if Papa John’s had offered free pizza in its TV ads. Would we have seen an even better result?

Heck, if my clients would let me give something away for free, I’d bring them an ROI that would make me look like a genius! 😉

PS. Papa John’s pizza rocks, and I’m not just saying that ‘cos my Wolfpack is heading for the Papa John’s Bowl. OK, maybe a little.

  • love Internet Marketing, but, I <3 free pizza, more!

    Joe Hall’s last blog post..Backlink Analysis Made Simple and Fun!

  • I’ll pass on Papa Johns free pizza! I had a friend that worked at one and we could get crazy discounts, but, really, it’s not good pizza…

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  • tom

    obviously they are trying to build their email list but studies do show a good number of tv viewers are on the computer as they watch.

  • Yeah Im sure the fact that they were offering a free pizza had more to do with the increase than the ads itself.

    Matt Helphrey’s last blog post..The Money Spot is Above the Fold

  • TV ads can’t really provide a good platform for a call-to-action to work. You need to make your customer to pick up their phone and make that call.

    But for web, its a lot easier…

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  • I think it was the free pizza. Plus free helps to make it viral. Especially free pizza during gametime. lol. They could duplicate this in print or local TV ads. Grow their list and market the backend.

    Shoot if I was a competing Pizza chain I would test this in my local market.

  • I don’t think it has to be either or … people were drawn in by free pizza, but Papa Jon also got to build their list. Of course, there are companies that can’t even give something away for free … look at AOL when they made their email accounts etc. free.

  • I thought I smelled a Wolfpacker. Glad to see you guys improving…god knows the whole ACC needs to get better. This Hokie will be cheering hard for you guys…

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  • I wonder if they made money on the deal or not.