Papa John’s doesn’t have a problem selling pizza on days like Super Bowl Sunday or Halloween, when people often gather for parties or need a quick meal. But, the company was looking for a promotion to give it an opportunity to build an event around a hot summer day when people are less likely to order pizza.
So, Papa John’s and Fleishman-Hillard Inc. developed the “777 Ways to Win” promotion with this in mind after noticing negative buzz surrounding the date 06/06/06.
“We thought 07/07/07 would be the opposite of that…one of the luckiest days on earth,” says Doug Terfehr, VP at Fleishman, referring to widely held beliefs that the number 666 brings bad luck while seven is a lucky number.
A week prior to July 7, Papa John’s ran radio spots and put a topper on its pizza boxes driving people to papajohns.com/777 to register to win one of 777 pizzas that were given out on the 7th. A grand prize winner received a $777 Papa John’s gift card. Also, online delivery orders for a large one-topping pizza cost $7.77 instead of $10.99 on the lucky day.
“We mostly wanted to create an event,” Terfehr says. “Driving online sales was secondary.”
In addition, Papa John’s CEO Nigel Travis boarded a Boeing 777 set to arrive in London at 7am on July 7 and gave a $77 gift card to everyone aboard. The event was covered by numerous national newspapers and local TV stations. Steve Ledoux, a winner of more than 500 sweepstakes, participated in radio interviews as a spokesperson.
The promotion became the number one online offer in the chain’s history, as well as the most successful short-term sweepstakes with 42,000 online registrants. July 7 also became the second busiest Saturday ever for online sales.