Pappa Murphy's puts heat on pizza delivery chains

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A chain selling pre-made but unbaked pizza is heating up its marketing with a new TV ad campaign.

Pappa Murphy's Take N' Bake Pizza does battle against the pizza-delivery chains with a series of spots tagged "Hey, your pizza's ready."

The chain has 360 stores in 15 Western and Midwestern states and plans to add 125 more next year. Its budget was not disclosed.


The spots play on the concept of Murphy's Law, each beginning with a different example of the marketer's own set of rules, attacking competitors on price, timeliness, quality and appetite appeal.

"Our research in five key markets showed the great majority of people felt delivered product was poor quality," said Mark Strickler, VP-marketing.

Dissatisfactions centered on the amount of time it took to get the pizza to the pizza's condition at the time of arrival.

In one spot, based on the idea that delivered pizza "is never as good" as it looks on TV, a man sits at a table with his pizza in a box and when he opens it, all the cheese and toppings are stuck to the box top.

In a second spot, a delivery chain adds charges for items such as the crust.

The ads are breaking this month in markets in the West and will move to Midwestern markets, such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, later this fall.


Each execution notes that Pappa Murphy's pizza uses dough made fresh daily and uses premium items, such as Dole Food Co. pineapple.

The campaign is the first from Mering & Associates, Sacramento, Calif., which won the account in April.

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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