The Big Idea
To launch its new Bee Sting Pizza, high street staple Papa John’s, created the “Beezza” – the world’s first pizza for bees.
Why? Well despite the best efforts of East London restaurants that have tried to make Pizza Bianca a “thing”, pizza isn’t pizza unless it’s got tomato sauce.
And you don’t get tomato sauce without tomatoes.
And tomatoes don’t grow unless tomato plants are pollinated.
And pollination doesn’t happen without wind* and bees.
And millennials love environmental issues so what better way to talk to promote a new topping to them than politicise pizzas and create a seemingly authentic brand campaign about bee populations.
*not to nitpick, but tomatoes are traditionally wind pollinated #justsayin
What They Did
The chain worked with Thom Whitchurch, famed for masterminding the Tiny Cookery School (no me neither – but do Google it, it’s very sweet), to create the Beeza – a tiny pizza designed to inspire the public to help look after bees.
It’s an actual pizza made with Papa John’s dough which has a passata base (thanks, bees) and is topped with wild flowers and pollen.
To really drive home the conservation message the chain also supported the Bumblebee Conservation Trust by giving out packs of native wildflower seeds via its social channels to customers keen to plant new sources of pollen.
No one can deny that this campaign is cute.
The accompanying campaign video of a bee eating the Beezza made my heart melt like cheese, but in a world that values authenticity does it actually do its job?
I want to love this because I bloody love bees and pizza, but I wonder if it resonates with the Papa John’s brand?
Maybe it would’ve been better to plant a few trees to offset the carbon footprint caused by delivering pizzas as that’s a very real issue associated with takeaway chains - but I guess that may not have made such a cute bee video!
To me this would have felt more authentic if it was led by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and done in partnership with Papa John’s.
That said, I’m definitely donating to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
And will still devour a PJ from time to time.