A Real-Life Toddler Meltdown Inspires A Real Life Pizza Ad




The strongest commercials tap into a universal truth or shared experience. This was definitely the case when we were given the assignment to advertise Papa Murphy’s Jack-o-Lantern Pizza to moms. Halloween is one of the biggest days of the year for pizza sales. And since Papa Murphy’s focuses on moms versus hungry frat boys, our approach needed to be different, as was the problem we were trying to solve. Specifically, the problem of putting small children in itchy, binding costumes with no time to eat dinner, adding in the pressure to create lifelong memories and capture them in museum-quality photos, and then throwing in appalling amounts of sugar. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Um, this. This could go wrong.



When I posted this video of my then 3 ½ year old daughter on facebook (as any good mother would, right?) the response was huge. So many moms (and dads) said they watched it over and over, shared it with friends and commiserated about their similar experiences. Halloween wasn’t all adorable costumes and fun-sized candies. It was often a total cluster! I had clearly hit on something.

So when I was given the Papa Murphy’s assignment, the idea practically wrote itself: Kids get over-sugared and cranky on Halloween. Give them an easy, fresh-baked dinner, and you’ll help avoid the meltdown. Pretty simple. 100% true. We even used the original costume (after I cleaned the mud off the feet.)



Had I known to homebake a Papa Murphy’s Jack-o-Lantern pizza back then, maybe I could have avoided the Scary Princess Bunny meltdown entirely.

But man, I’m sure glad I didn’t.