Toppers Pizza gets radical repositioning

Sept. 6, 2006
MADISON, Wis. — Whitewater, Wis.-based Toppers Pizza has undergone a radical repositioning guided by Shine Advertising.
According to a news release, the 14-unit chain wanted to invigorate every point of customer contact by infusing a sense of irreverence, fun and play into what it believes has become "same-old, same-old" pizza category.
John Krull, associate creative director at Shine Advertising, said Toppers' target audience, college students, told the agency they wanted a lot more from the usual pizza eating experience.
"To them, it's not just about pizza, it's about the experience of having pizza with friends, the magic of those experiences together," said Krull. "This campaign sought out to own the emotions of what we called 'Toppers Time' with college students."
Among many changes effected, the Toppers Pizza logo, an old-fashioned top hat, was coupled with the new tagline: "Feed the Need." Print advertising, done primarily in college newspapers, will include headlines like, "Every Pizza Is Made With Tender Loving Care. The Exact Same Way We Treated Your Girlfriend Last Night"; "Sure Gluttony Is A Sin. But So Is That Thing You Do With The Spatula"; and "The Good News: We Deliver. The Bad News: Not To Detox." All print ads feature traditional product coupons along with irreverent offers such as, "Free Dumb Looks From Every Delivery Driver."
Shine revamped Toppers' uniforms as well. Untucked mechanic shirts, jeans, skull-caps, and baseball hats with the new logo replace the traditional khaki pants and knit shirts.
The new brand personality is even encompassed in the Toppers interactive telephone hold system. Instead of listening to elevator music, Toppers customers can choose to listen to squawking cockatiels, purring kittens and other messages. Shine enlisted the help of Tom Kane, whose voiceover work includes Seinfeld, commercials for Taco Bell and Apple Computer, and the 2006 Academy Awards.
"Great brands start with a focused audience and focused point of difference. We've always had both, but were afraid to really go after it in a meaningful way," said Scott Gittrich, founder and president of Toppers Pizza. "With Shine's help, we have unleashed the potential of our company and brand by focusing on the college market and allowing our irreverent personality to come to life. Within our organization, the new campaign has been met with excitement and undying support."

Topics: Marketing , Operations Management

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