Pizza chain Papa John’s on Friday, used a one-day blitz of image ads featuring (what else?) pizzas as its first foray into advertising on the Google Content Network. The ads offered a free second pizza to anybody who ordered a pizza online.
The ads ran on a number of entertainment, food, news, sports and game sites in the Google Content Network. These included menupages.com, last.fm, nhl.com, icanhascheezburger.com, myspace.com and plentyoffish.com.
“We work with all the big-three pizza chains with search,” said Sam Sabastian, Google’s industry director of classifieds and local. “They are very direct-response oriented… They really built their online sales channel with help from search engines, especially Google.”
However, the pizza chains are starting to show more interest in other Google-related advertising, including YouTube and the display network, said Sabastian. He said the 24-hour Papa John’s blast was “a great example of us working closely with them to, as the holidays are approaching, generate a lot of impact and a lot of buzz for online ordering going into the weekend.”
Papa John’s effort reflects a trend of increasingly technical online pizza marketing, said Google spokesman Eric Obenzinger. He cited a recent Pizza Hut application on Facebook that facilitates online ordering as well as a system launched by Dominos that allows people to order pizza through their TiVo boxes.
Bob Ford, director of digital marketing for Papa John’s noted online ordering is now a given for the pizza industry, but he said many people are still unaware it’s possible. “The opportunity a company like Google really gives us is the ability to get that broad-reaching awareness in a short period of time,” said Ford. While most everybody knows about Google as a search marketing facilitator, “a lot of marketers don’t even realize Google has this vast content network available as well,” said Ford.
He said a goal of the effort is to gather information from those who fill in the free-pizza registration information after clicking on the display ad so they can be added to Papa John’s e-mail database.
Programmatic is taking over the digital advertising world, and at an even faster rate than expected, according to eMarketer, which raised its forecast for programmatic ad spending in the U.S. on the back of growth in mobile and video programmatic buys.
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