You either love it or you hate it. And if you hate it, you still kinda love it.
Smart and scrappy art direction for the world's most divisive pizza
Photo & Video Art Direction TV Spot Digital Display Ads Organic & Paid Social Packaging Design
There is no pizza as polarizing as St. Louis pizza.
I was raised with it, so I like it fine enough. But even if you don't, the Imo's brand is precious to those of us who call St. Louis home. I can't think of another brand people are willing to defend so fiercely despite not particularly liking their product. As my best friend says "I hate provel cheese, but I would go to war to keep Imo's in business."
Imo’s had a problem disguised as a luxury. The brand is so iconic, people will throw hands to defend it… even if they don’t buy it. We needed to remind them what they’re really subscribing to when they choose Imo’s. A complex web of sensations that allows you to taste nostalgia, smell comfort, see your civic identity and place an order for family togetherness.
Literally weeks after our first campaign went to market—
"It's very very bad pizza."
"First of all, that is so mean to say... we could fight right now."
Family business = family business budgets. Every one of these spots had an $11k production spend. We had to cast locally. As in, this one features my coworkers Kayleigh and Mike.
Bravo to star coworker Tim and the location fee-less house of our Production Assistant, Kirsten.
Nieces, friends, brothers in-law, that one Cardinals guy; no one was safe from our casting pleas.
As Imo’s first-ever agency of record (check out our RFP site), our goal for Year One was to establish cohesiveness. To show how it feels to eat Imo’s. With over 100 franchisee locations across 2 states, there was as much work to be done internally as there was on the marketing side of things. Imo’s is a family business, and we promised to help them stay true to their wholesome quirks.
So how’d we do? Our smart, scrappy creative work + strategic media buys netted Imo’s a 12% increase in sales for 2021. We’re rebranding their rewards program in parallel path with an app build. New retail packaging is being rolled out for Walmart and Goldbelly. And the parlors are getting redesigned to match our direction of embracing what it means to be a historic brand that you either love or love to hate.