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?