Pizza Inn Campaign Tweaks Family Discord

Pizza Inn ad spot

In the first branding campaign in its 50-year history, Pizza Inn is using humorous TV spots to position itself as an easy family meal solution.

The tag line: "The one thing any family can agree on."

A 30-second commercial, for example, features strange-looking, dressed-alike male adult twins eating in synchrony. The habit, observes their father, "was OK when you were kids, but now it's just creepy." Loud squabbling ensues among the three, but Mom restores civility by observing, "The pizza's good, huh?" All, of course, must agree.

Two 60-second variations focus on the pizza's ability to restore harmony in the face of badly chosen gifts.

This is also the first television campaign created for Pizza Inn by Boulder's TDA Advertising & Design, which became the chain's agency a year-and-a-half ago.

While television is far from new for the chain, its advertising to date has been promotion- or event-oriented, says Jenny Thayer, TDA account manager for Pizza Inn.

The commercials began running this month. Franchisees handle their own local media buying.

Headquartered in The Colony, Texas, near Dallas, Pizza Inn, Inc. franchises more than 300 restaurants -- 250 in the U.S. -- and owns two. Domestic units span 17 states, primarily in the Southeast (Virginia to Missouri and Florida to New Mexico).

Chain-wide, annual sales exceed $133 million. For its fiscal '09 third quarter ending in March, the company reported a 3% decline in total domestic sales. Q3 EPS declined from $0.09 to $0.05, but was flat year-over-year adjusted for income taxes incurred in the quarter. In the first nine months, diluted EPS declined from $0.21 to 0.09.

President/CEO Charlie Morrison reported that the company expects performance to improve as a result of a new, buffet-style prototype that will drive new franchise openings going forward and a recently launched royalty incentive program for existing and new franchisees.

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