Getlowfees.com

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The world's largest take-and-bake pizza chain, Papa Murphy's International, plans to roll out 100 new stores in 2003.

The 729-store franchise is targeting the Midwest for its next expansion and believes its $5 million ad campaign will translate into interest and sales, according to The Vancouver Columbian. Papa Murphy's hired Los Angeles advertising firm davidandgoliath to handle its marketing earlier this year (See story: Papa Murphy's hires davidandgoliath ad firm).

In one of several spots now showing on Washington TV stations, a woman wonders about the future of frozen pizzas. The scene cuts to a man in a park using a frozen pizza as a flying disc, then back to the woman as she's handed a fresh Papa Murphy's pizza.

Another ad shows a former pizza-delivery car careening down a mountainside as a stunt vehicle in Hollywood. The tagline is "Hand made, home baked."

Papa Murphy's franchisees spend between $140,600 and $203,000 to open a store, said Rob Elliott, executive vice president of marketing. The stores cost less than traditional pizzerias because they don't need ovens, seating space, delivery cars or other associated costs with a sit-down eatery, Elliott said. The franchise agreements require owners to work at the stores.

Elliott said the company has positioned itself as a replacement for a traditional meal and even carved a niche among low-income families who can use food stamps to pay for the pizzas.

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