"2009 has been a banner year for Papa John's. It was our 25th anniversary this year and we centered the PR strategy around the 25th anniversary and our company's heritage," said Tish Muldoon, senior director of corporate communications for Papa John's. Schnatter took a road trip across the US in 2009, delivering pizzas to unsuspecting customers and looking for his original 1971 Z28 Camaro, which he sold to start the company.
"The New Year's Eve piece is an extension of that: 'Papa's in the House' even on New Year's Eve and even in Times Square," Muldoon added. "Really the strategy behind this one is to cap off a great anniversary year."
Papa John's is working with AOR Fleishman-Hillard on the event.
In addition to the live-streaming, Papa John's will be offering promotion codes on its Facebook page, as well as posting photos from the preparation and behind the scenes on New Year's Eve. Schnatter will also be doing media interviews leading up to the event, targeting business, entertainment, and both domestic and international outlets, including those covering the events from Times Square on December 31.
The timing also fit, as New Year's Eve is one of the top five busiest nights of the year for the pizza company, Muldoon said.
"Our overall goal is to continue to help consumers think about Papa John's and Papa being in the house," Muldoon said, noting that the company plans to continue this type of marketing in 2010. "[Help them think] 'Where is John going to be next?' and creating buzz, whether it be traditional media or social media."