Skip navigation
Tap Into Texting

Tap Into Texting


We have to tip our hat to the people at Papa John’s. They’ve figured out how to engage a younger audience in a way that should not only really move the merchandise, but enable the company to build a valuable marketing database in the process.

Papa John’s “TEXTra Points 4 Pizza” promotion works like this. Customers text “POINTS” to 47272 or register for the deal at the company’s website. For doing so, participants get pizza deals throughout each round of the NFL playoffs. And those deals are sweetened each time a game’s combined points hit the “over”—not the Las Vegas betting line “over,” but one set by Papa John’s. The magic number escalates as the playoffs progress through to the Super Bowl.

In the wild card and divisional rounds, if the teams combined scores exceeded 25 points (they did, easily), participants got a text message from Papa John’s with a promo code that gave them 25 percent off on certain Papa John’s pizza offerings. The ante was upped on championship weekend, when a combined score of 50 points earned registered fans a 50 percent deduction.

The bogey was a little harder to reach on Super Bowl Sunday—75 points or more—but you can assume that all 115,000 people who signed up were hoping the teams hit it. If the teams did, promotion participants could get a $15.99 pizza for $3.99—a 75 percent reduction. That “over” score was reached once, in 1995, when San Francisco beat San Diego 49-26.

“As the only national pizza company to offer text message ordering throughout the country, Papa John’s is eager to introduce customers to the newest and most convenient way to order their game day essentials,” says Papa John’s marketing honcho Jim Ensign.

Let’s add it up: this promotion combines texting, gambling on football and cheap-yet-reputable pizza, and builds audience interest as it goes. Sounds like genius to us.

TAGS: Operations