Do You Like Dominos? Cooking up a new PR Campaign … and a New Pizza

February 1, 2010 by  
Filed under All, PR

So if you remember, Domino’s faced a big PR fiasco last year when two employees made a video of themselves doing unspeakable acts to a pizza before they delivered it to a customer. While they were lucky enough to learn about it from a blogger/friend (not because they were monitoring the Web, please note), they chose to sit on it instead of acting quickly, resulting in nearly 2 million views of the video on YouTube, major media coverage and a public backlash.

Well, Domino’s did respond, but a little too late to repair the damage done. They created a Twitter account to answer people’s questions and also put up a video of the CEO on YouTube apologizing for the incident, noting the employees had been fired and explaining that is not what goes on behind the doors of Domino’s.

Fast forward about 8 months later. Domino’s has taken a hard look at itself in light of what happened last year. They’ve decided to be honest about their failings and are trying to regain consumer confidence in their established brand.

So when you think of Domino’s pizza, do you think yuck or yum? Turns out most people think yuck J. Domino’s took a look at what people were saying about their pizza offline and online and heard things like “your crust tastes like cardboard” and “your sauce tastes like ketchup.” And what do you know, Domino’s actually listened!

They’ve put together a new campaign courtesy of the creative folks at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky (of Burger King’s “king” ads and other very innovative and different campaigns) called “The Pizza Turnaround”. The campaign acknowledges their criticism and shows how they’ve reacted: creating an entirely new pizza from scratch.

The Pizza Turnaround

They’ve put together two great little YouTube videos, one showing the company listening in to focus groups and coming up with a new pizza, and the second, my favorite, with the head chef showing up at the doors of some of the harsher focus group participants and inviting them to try the new pizza. Bold and real.

At the Door of Our Harshest Critics

I LOVE it! I wish I could get more companies to follow in their footsteps. They’ve turned a really negative incident with the employee video into a catalyst for change for the company. People can always identify with you when you acknowledge failings (we all have them) and try to fix them. I think this will be a turnaround for Domino’s … well, so long as the pizza is actually good. I haven’t tried it yet.

Oh, and by the way, I am one of the few people who genuinely liked Domino’s pizza the way it was :). Yea ketchup sauce!

What do you think of Domino’s tactics? Smart or stupid?

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Comments

10 Responses to “Do You Like Dominos? Cooking up a new PR Campaign … and a New Pizza”
  1. Stacey says:

    I like it! Very smart on Domino’s part. I’ve never been a Domino’s fan, but I may just try it now because they’ve obviously upped the quality of their product. Great job!

  2. Vic says:

    I thought the concept was gutsy. However, they executed it poorly. The ad specifically said the crust tastes like cardboard, and their response was to paint it with garlic sauce, rather than to address the taste of the crust.

    They ad gave me 3 reasons not to like their old pizza — sauce, cheese, crust — then only addressed 2 of them comprehensively.

    Where before I thought their pizza was mediocre, but edible, now I think of it as cardboard with garlic sauce.

  3. Lyn Mettler says:

    Yum, cardboard with garlic sauce! :) Your post gave me a good chuckle. We don’t KNOW that they didn’t redo the crust do we? That would be horrible if they’re playing up all this their crust tastes like cardboard and didn’t address it. Anyone actually tried the new pizza yet? I guess that would answer our question.

  4. Leslie says:

    The second I saw this ad on TV I thought it was so smart :) I think its great that they actually listened to what people were saying about their product and created a campaign around fixing their problems.

    Good stuff. Now we just have to try the pizza :)

  5. Lyn Mettler says:

    I know! I get to try it tomorrow. I’ll be sure to post what I think :). Course, I might be biased since I liked it how it was to begin with!

  6. Melissa says:

    I haven’t tried it yet. The campaign did get my attention and because of that I will probably try it.

  7. Lyn Mettler says:

    I actually tried it recently and honestly didn’t think it tasted much different. The crust is more garlicky and the sauce had a little kick to it, but I have to say I was disappointed it didn’t taste more different. From the way they talk, you think they totally scrapped the recipe and started over, but apparently they just tweaked the current recipe. Not so great for PR when the hype doesn’t live up to the reality.

  8. Lyn Mettler says:

    As an update to this, I read recently where Domino’s reported they more than doubled their fourth-quarter profits, which I think we can attribute in large part to this campaign. I also love the new focus where they zero in on someone who refuses to try it, putting their name on billboards and on the sides of buses, etc. to get them to try it. Very clever.

  9. DEBRA says:

    I just wanted to know how come dominos stop selling kickers,
    they were the best.i would perfer them rather than the chicken
    nuggets.

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