Daily Insights

The Comfort Consumer

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Feb 03, 2021

Papa John’s knows there’s not a lot to do at home during a pandemic, so it’s introducing its new Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza in a campaign that asks people to get moving—any way they can. Here’s how the iniative might be doubly appealing to today’s consumers.

The pizza chain asks people to show off their basketball-based moves, including dunks, jumps, trick shots, blocks, and pranks on Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok using the hashtags #epicstuffs and #sweepstakes for a chance to win the Epic Stuffed Chair and $7,500 in cash, plus free branded sleeping bags and $50 gift cards every week until the contest ends. The motorized chair serves as a gamer’s dream with wheels that are operated with a pizza slice-shaped joystick , reinforced pizza table, smartphone holder, and 18-cartridge sauce dispenser. The brand demonstrates these winning features in a humorous video promoted across all its social channels and arrives just in time for the Super Bowl.

Thanks to the sports season, pizza and exercise became a beloved, if unexpected combination as millions of Americans gather on oversized couches to enjoy major events like the Super Bowl along with their favorite shareable foods. Though this isn’t the pizza purveyor’s first basketball-based collaboration, having teamed up with Shaquille O’Neal last year, it is its first time entertaining both these indulgences—sports and slothliness—by tempting consumers with a drool-worthy comfort machine that can only be won after making some actual moves.

As the pizza wars continue to heat up in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants 2020 Key Findings, it’s every brand for itself. By tapping into the current consumer’s cravings for comfort, convenience, and cash, Papa John’s might serve up a winning, if simple, strategy in the pandemic era.