By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

September 27, 2021 | 3 min read

Launching its fresh soul range of BBQ-inspired pizzas, Papa John’s has created its first global music event and partnered with up-and-coming British neo-soul artist BaggE.

In Papa John’s first experiential activity in the UK since the pandemic, it will host a live gig at a London venue with performances from BaggE and three yet-to-be unveiled artists selected by NME.

The gig sits alongside a brand film featuring BaggE playing vinyl to an intimate group of friends eating pizza at a Papa John’s store, which has been transformed into a retro record store.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for myself and emerging NME talent to have our music promoted on a global scale,” BaggE said.

The campaign, titled ‘House of Papa’, takes inspiration from the ‘Papa X Cheddar’ campaign, which generated $1.3m of incremental sales in the first six weeks and 130 pieces of press coverage.

The event will be broadcast live via the Byte Squad’s TikTok channel. Papa John’s said it has tied with the 20-million-strong follower group due to its “established and authentic” reach with the gen Z audience and its reputation of helping young people through the lockdown.

The partnership marks the first time Papa John’s has worked directly with a TikTok group. According to the pizza brand, TikTok has been very successful in the UK for driving higher funnel awareness and participation.

Highlight PR is the agency behind the live event, which will be available globally on September 29. NME will also drop afterparty highlights on its websites from October 5.

The brand film launches this week and will run across the UK, EMEA, Latin America and Asia. It’s the second collaboration with Atomic London after the ad agency created ‘Papa X Cheddar’.

Atomic’s executive creative director Katy Sumption said: “Our audience have been deprived of get-togethers and live music for so long and we wanted to encapsulate that celebratory feeling that we can all finally share.”

‘Papa X Cheddar’ director Josh Cohen also returned to direct. Music producer Brother Music and BaggE created the campaign’s ‘Fresh Soul’ record.

According to Papa John’s, both ‘House of Papa’ and ‘Papa X Cheddar’ have been created with a “sizable” digital media spend across all the participating markets.

The latest campaign is part of Papa John’s gen Z strategy, with Jo Blundell, vice-president, international marketing, previously telling The Drum that internal research had identified streetwear, fashion and music as having strong universal appeal among that audience.

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