Late last month #3 pizza chain Papa John’s launched an innovative social media campaign on Facebook coined “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenge“. The contest asks fans to design and suggest Papa John’s next specialty pizza, which will be available at locations nationwide. I know…I know…you’ve heard of companies crowdsourcing their customers for ideas in the past.
Here’s the game changer: The contest winner will receive 1% of sales for the 12 month period that his or her pizza is offered following the contest (up to $10,000). The winner also gets free pizza for life.
Before a winning contestant is selected, “Papa” John Schnatter and associates will award $1,000 to 10 semifinalists, whose recipes will be cooked and taste-tested by the Papa and other judges at the pizza giant’s Louisville, Ky., headquarters. The pizza concoctions will be judged on appeal, taste, creativity of the name, and the quality of the story on how the contestant dreamed up the pie.
What a creative way to engage with customers and promote Papa John’s brand and product. Of course, one needs to become a fan of the Papa John’s Facebook page (or “like” the page, as Facebook now terms it) to enter the contest. As a result of the campaign, the company’s fan count has skyrocketed.
More importantly, however, Papa John’s now has a direct line of communication with thousands of current and potential customers via the company’s Facebook page updates and fan messaging. Pure social marketing genius. Keep up the good work Papa.