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Paul George Stars in New, Cheesy Papa John’s Spot

Papa John’s is releasing a new ad promoting their Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza today starring Indiana Pacers all star Paul George alongside Papa John’s founder, chairman and CEO, John Schnatter. While John’s named Grey its national agency of record back in February, this spot comes to us via ZGroup, an arm of Zimmerman Advertising.

The cheesy spot features typically terrible acting from Schnatter, who trades lines with George. “Here’s how I make my dough,” George retorts, before the spot cuts to footage of him dunking. “Sweet,” says Papa John, “like my new Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza,” in some of the most transparent copy we’ve seen in awhile. In a surprise move, George then dunks his slice in one of Papa John’s artery-clogging dipping sauces. The spot is the latest in Papa John’s line of sports-themed advertising that in the past has included the likes of Peyton Manning and Joe Montana. It’s a shame they couldn’t go a less obvious route with the Pacers star, but the Papa clearly likes to play it safe. The new ad will run nationally on cable entertainment and sports channels, as well as syndicated shows, until May 11th.

“Papa John’s is about fresh new tastes, which is why we love our partnership with Paul George,” said Schnatter in a painfully rehearsed statement. “Paul brings a fresh approach to basketball as one of the game’s new stars, which works perfectly with Papa John’s because new and fresh is the message we’re delivering with our partnership and with our new Sweet Chili Chicken Pizza.”

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