Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to [email protected].
Condom marketers don't have a PR nightmare on their hands (yet), a former NBA player with a history of cocaine use is promoting a cannabis brand and HP is tying its diversity initiative to Cannes Lions. First, though, let's take a quick look at the early work Laundry Service has done for Papa John's and see who's missing from the pizza chain's newest ads.
Papa John's, the No. 4 U.S. pizza chain, needs to reconnect with customers after its same-store sales fell in the fourth quarter of 2017. Founder John Schnatter (remember, he's no longer CEO) is noticeably missing from the brand's first spots from Laundry Service, which promote a new $12.99 value meal (pizza, bread side and two-liter drink) set to be a major promo for the chain in 2018.
The new spots are supposed to suggest "12.99 seconds of better," with images such as cute puppies (above) and BMX skills (below), playing on the chain's "Better Ingredients, Better Pizza" tagline. A brand campaign that's supposed to focus on food quality is set to launch later this year.
Schnatter will return in a drag racing-themed spot for the $12.99 deal set to run on FS1 this weekend:
'Condom Challenge' vies to push Tide Pod Challenge aside
Finally, something to make people forget the Tide Pod Challenge—the condom challenge.
This challenge, in which people supposedly snort condoms up their noses in an effort to create viral videos, is thankfully unbranded. Church & Dwight, maker of prohibitive industry leader Trojan, wants to keep it that way, so it is declining to comment on the matter. One other difference with the condom challenge – it may very well be "fake news," reports the Washington Post, which certain people believe is an expert on that subject. The Post reports the whole thing resurfaced when some parents became outraged over some videos showing condom snorting from 2013, but there's not much evidence this trend has become viral again.
Lamar Odom gets into the cannabis game