Papa John’s Claims Free Speech is Hurting Pizza Sales – And I Am ROFL

Today is Friday, and I’m always a little punchy and eager for some laughs, but I was not expecting Papa John’s to deliver. (See what I did there? Again, I’m punchy on Fridays.) Anyway, I’m catching up on some AdAge articles and see that Papa John’s International Inc. founder John Schnatter has launched into an entire theory that NFL Leadership (Roger Goodell) has hurt his sales by not forcing players to stand for the national anthem.

I call it a theory because on his post-earnings conference call, Schnatter does not reference any actual research or reports that directly tie consumer behavior and consumer affinity for cheesy goodness directly to players who still take a knee.

If I were an analyst or shareholder, I may have asked why so many eggs in one basket? How could you invest so much money in an ad strategy that Colin Kaepernick could set on fire with one silent protest? Ok, so as an ad person, I want to ask the same question – where is the diversity in strategy that the company could actually expect the same growth with an NFL strategy/sponsorship that has been in place for years?

Some Quick Ideas:

How about digging into the consumer behavior and ever-changing tastes and needs of your customers through some research? Food service is an ever-changing and competitive market; have they really kept up with consumer’s finicky tastes?

If your strategy is so reliant on the NFL year-over-year, your ad agency is failing you. Your campaigns and approach are stale. What worked in 2014 during a Peyton Manning heyday is over. Find your next big idea.

If you want to be political about it – just be political. Love Trump. Dislike Goodell. But don’t try to smoke and mirror your shareholders.

For the record:

I’m in the camp of – I’ll always stand, but I’ll always support freedom of speech too! Go America!!!

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