PIZZA HUT‘s introduction of its newest stuffed crust pizza — a grilled cheese version — recalls the fact that the original was launched 21 years ago by a kinder and gentler version of Donald Trump, according to AdWeek.
The new pizza debuted March 26, 1995. Six days later, Pizza Hut kicked off a $45 million national ad campaign, buying TV time during the NCAA’s Final Four weekend. The 30-second spot created by BBDO New York showed a tuxedo-clad Trump in a gilded suite along with Ivana Trump, whom he’d divorced five years earlier. (Watch the ad below.) In the commercial, the two poke fun of their headline-grabbing split.
“He was an egomaniac billionaire and almost charming,” said Hayes Roth, principal of brand and marketing firm HA Roth Consulting. “His egomania was so huge that he makes fun of himself. He’s lost that sense of humor. But he put on a great show, and back then we bought it” (AdWeek).
AMAZON‘s stock traded at a new record high today, $805.77, up $16.09, or 2%. The retail giant employs 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shephardsville. More Amazon news.
. . . and right onto The Boulevard 400™. It’s our roster of movers, shakers and money-makers, all ranked according to how often their names appear in boldface on Louisville’s most eclectic business and culture news site. This just in! Moments ago, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter edged past Donald Trump into the No. 2 spot behind actress Jennifer Lawrence. Check out the full lineup; here’s a snapshot:
When Tom Jurich chases the money John Schnatter gives to charity every year, it’s the ever-prowling cats that pose competition.
No — not those ones. I’m referring to the snow leopard and other big cats at Louisville Zoo, just five miles from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the University of Louisville colossus about to undergo a $55 million renovation that athletics director Jurich wants done in just two years.
Schnatter, 54, loves U of L. He’s donated more than $20 million to the 22,000-student school over the past decade, winning naming rights for his Louisville-based pizza chain for decades to come. (And Schnatter’s a Ball State graduate, to boot.)
But he also likes other charities — especially the zoo, according to the most recent IRS tax returns for his John H. Schnatter Family Foundation, which filed its 2015 return only last week. The returns show the foundation gave $111,000 to the zoo in 2012-2015; only one other recipient — U of L — got more, among the dozens of charities Schnatter and his wife Annette support. And that was on top of $1.1 million they donated to the zoo in 2008. To be sure, the zoo was just barely ahead of No. 3 on the foundation’s gift list (keep reading).
The returns offer an inside look at how one of the city’s richest couples — we’re talking $800 million — positions themselves in a pecking order where the right kind of philanthropy is the ticket to top-drawer society. This much is clear: the Schnatters don’t give a flying fig about old-money Louisville. They’re passing on virtually all the usual suspects: the Speed Museum, Actors Theatre, Kentucky Opera, the Fund for the Arts — cultural war horses favored by more established families like the Browns and their 150-year-old whiskey fortune, or the Binghams and their faded media empire from 1918.
Instead, the Schnatters devoted their relatively modest $1.9 million to 86 charities over the four years I examined, focused heavily on helping children and veterans; animal welfare and — crucially, for anxious development officers — advancing John Schnatter’s growing interest in free enterprise and limited government.
But he’s never been old money, anyway.
1980s: bustin’ out
After graduating from Ball State University in 1983, Schnatter started Papa John’s in a broom closet at his father’s tavern, Mike’s Lounge, which he famously saved from ruin with $2,800 he got selling his prized 1972 Camaro. Nearly 32 years and many millions of pies later, he stars in his own TV commercials blanketing the air, proving he’s not above getting dirty to make a sale — literally. In a Sony Pictures marketing tie-in this summer, he played a slimed Ghostbuster pizza delivery guy; that’s a still photo, top of page. (Can you imagine Brown-Forman Chairman George Garvin Brown IV dressed as a dancing mint julep for an Old Forester spot? Neither can I.)
GOP White House nominee Donald Trump’s take last month was more than 2½ times that of the $136,926 received by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission cited today by WFPL.
“Despite Trump’s summer surge,” the station says, “he still trails far behind Clinton in netting Kentucky’s dollars. Clinton raised more than $921,409 through the end of July, compared to Trump’s $545,940.”
In “Hillbilly Elegy,” according to a new book review in The New York Times, author J.D. Vance offers “a compassionate, discerning sociological analysis of the white underclass that has helped drive the politics of rebellion, particularly the ascent of Donald J. Trump. Combining thoughtful inquiry with firsthand experience, Vance has inadvertently provided a civilized reference guide for an uncivilized election, and he’s done so in a vocabulary intelligible to both Democrats and Republicans.”
“Economic insecurity, he’s convinced, accounts for only a small part of his community’s problems; the much larger issue is hillbilly culture itself,” the Times says. “Though proud of it in many ways, he’s also convinced that it ‘increasingly encourages social decay instead of counteracting it.’”
The review continues: “His frustration with the non-working white poor is especially acute. He recalls being a cashier at a Middletown grocery store and watching resentfully as his neighbors, who had creatively gamed the welfare system, jabbered on their cellphones as they were going through the checkout line. He could not afford a cellphone.”
Vance writes: “Political scientists have spent millions of words trying to explain how Appalachia and the South went from staunchly Democratic to staunchly Republican in less than a generation.” He suspects those cellphones have a lot to do with it. “I could never understand why our lives felt like a struggle while those living off of government largess enjoyed trinkets that I only dreamed about.”
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis; 264 pages. Harper. $27.99.
Joined by The New York Times, Gannett Co. argues in papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court today that the rape allegation — which Trump has denied — is of public interest in the GOP presidential campaign of the twice-divorced and thrice-married New York billionaire, according to the New York Daily News.
The filing notes that a 1993 biography of Trump reported that Ivana Trump — his first wife — told friends her husband had “raped” her in 1989 during a fit of rage. Trump and the former Czech model Ivana Zelníčková married in 1977 and divorced 14 years later in 1991. By 1995, they’d patched things up enough to star in a Pizza Hut commercial where they joked about their divorce settlement:
Gannett bought The Courier-Journal from the Bingham family in July 1986 for $300 million. With the CJ and USA Today, Gannett now owns 110 dailies across the U.S. and the U.K. Adjusted for inflation, $300 million would be equivalent to $660 million in today’s dollars, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.