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Papa John’s first 60-second TV Commercial Enhances Commitment to “Better ingredients”


What: Papa John’s released its first 60-second TV commercial, which shows  founder John Schnatter’s beginnings claiming better ingredients in order to appeal to more selective customers.
Why it matters: In addition to the TV spot, Papa John’s will use 15-second video clips on the company’s website. In all, the company will spend US$100 million a year to eliminate artificial ingredients and other additives from its menu.

John Schnatter, Papa John’s Pizza, Founder

wkQUDcXE_400x400Papa John’s has released its first 60-second TV commercial to drive home its long-held commitment to better ingredients. A New York agency Grey’s effort, the new campaign aims to differentiate itself from other fast food competitors by showing founder John Schnatter’s 1984 beginnings claiming better ingredients were in the pizza he made in the broom closet of the tavern owned by his father.

This is part of a fast-food restaurant trend, which includes brands like Panera, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, to update their offerings in order to appeal more more selective customers.

In addition to the TV spot, Papa John’s will use 15-second video clips on the company’s website.

Schnatter first started improving his pizza ingredients in 1996 after visiting a Kansas factory, where he didn’t like how the sausage was made. Since then, he’s removed fillers from meat toppings, upgraded pizza dough and cheese and more recently removed MSG from ranch dressing and Tran’s fat from garlic sauce. The company will also eliminate 14 ingredients like artificial colors, preservatives and corn syrup from sauces and replace them with natural options. That renovation will cost the company US$100 million annually, according to Papa John’s.

“Papa John’s has remained committed to quality, using better ingredients long before it became an industry trend,” Schnatter said in a statement.

According to Schnatter, he has always tried to reach consumers directly: first, by sending letters to his competitors’ consumers asking them to try his “better” pizzas. More recently, taking out to open-letter ads in USA Today addressing Papa John’s products and parents’ concerns about the foods they serve to their families. The company is now inviting food bloggers to tour its headquarters and see how its pizzas are made.



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