5 Questions for Domino’s about their new pizza marketing

We’re in the midst of a media blitz by the Domino’s Pizza shop. Apparently they recently heard their pizza sucked, so they decided to do something radical: make the pizza better. What’s left unsaid about this media campaign, why it’s so revolutionary, is that in the past they might have simply hired a new ad agency and more publicists to squelch customer complaints.

Domino’s new campaign is heavy on honesty, reality, and communication through social media. Their reputation was so tarnished that it would’ve been nearly impossible not to mention in the new campaign. There’s a reason Twitter communication is featured so prominently in these new ads: because it was through social media they were pressured to change. Domino’s couldn’t control the messages customers were creating and broadcasting with social media.

And now Domino’s is trying to reset their brand. Hopefully for them, that means resetting peoples opinions of Domino’s pizza. It’s a tricky thing to do, and I’m not entirely sure Domino’s is successful so far. In fact, after watching their extended ads posted on YouTube (below), you might have some of the same questions I did:

  1. “There comes a time when you know you’ve got to make a change” What time would that be, the invention of Twitter? This ad implies that most of your customer feedback is coming through Twitter, but I know that your pizza was horrible in the 1980s (the last time I tried a Domino’s pizza). Is Domino’s saying they’ve been ignoring their customers for 30 years?
  2. Why do you have public relations hacks speaking for your brand? These hacks have been smoothing over the fact that your pizza has been a mass produced food-like substance for 30 years. You want people that have been part of the problem in the past to now speak for your brand?
  3. “Some people didn’t give us credit for the taste of our product. That’s what we’re fixing.” You weren’t getting credit because you didn’t deserve credit. It’s not clear what Domino’s is trying to fix here: the “product” (customers usually call them pizzas; they don’t order “one large product”), or the fact that they weren’t getting credit for the taste? If Domino’s wants credit they don’t need to change the pizza, just throw more money at the advertising and PR budget.
  4. In the Domino’s confrontation video, when men in white coats start knocking on doors, I was left to wonder why are only people in the suburbs are eating Domino’s pizza? It seemed kind of strange. In fact, it looked like all the people were from the same neighborhood.
  5. Is it fair to get criticism from people in a focus group, then confront them at the front door with one of your pizzas, asking for immediate feedback with the camera rolling? If you came to my door, I would’ve taken the pie and told you to come back the next day for my evaluation. Look closely at the video: only one person took more than a single bite before giving their (positive) opinion. Is it reasonable to expect a honest food review after one bite?

Never mind the pizza, what do you think about Domino’s communication? And if you’re from Domino’s can you answer those 5 questions?

Photo (CC) from Nemo’s great uncle