Pizza Nova flips ‘text messaging’ campaign

Bucking the trend on pizza chain advertising, Pizza Nova's first outdoor billboard buy doesn't use images of food or tout deals.

Pizza is already one of the most devalued categories in the fast food market, says Stephanie Angelone, director of marketing for Pizza Nova. So when the recession hit and the competition began to advertise bargain offers, the Toronto-based chain found itself in a difficult position.

‘For us to compete with heavily discounted items will be to ultimately sacrifice the quality ingredients that we use – that’s just not an option,’ Angelone tells MiC. With a new campaign launched last week and running through August, Angelone and the Pizza Nova in-house team developed a text-only ‘Nuthin’ but Nova’ campaign on billboards, in print and on radio. Cheeky messages like ‘I love it in the morning’ and ‘My zucchini is better than your zucchini’ adorn billboards in Toronto (Yonge and Gould streets, for example), and are also targeting Torontonians via the Metro daily newspaper and on radio stations like Edge 102.1 and 680 News.

It is the first time the brand has bought outdoor advertising, says Angelone, and they wanted to stand out by not using any pictures of the actual product. ‘Sometimes, to see [food] outside and rained on, it doesn’t always make the product look so delicious. I thought, ‘how can we get outside on billboards with a message about the brand, without an image of a pizza and without a price?’ And that’s kind of where this came from.’

Targeting the 18- to 35-year-old demo, each of the ‘text messages’ are based on a Pizza Nova factoid – for instance, ‘I love it in the morning’ is based on a recent poll that found 39% of adults admit to eating cold pizza in the morning, while the zucchini line is based on the fact that Pizza Nova took eight months to find the perfect zucchini, eventually finding it from a supplier in Italy, Angelone explains.

‘We are just hoping to communicate the brand personality in a unique and memorable way that hopefully brings a smile,’ she says.