“Our product sucked!”
Not exactly a textbook way of launching an upgraded product image, but definitely attention getting. That’s exactly what Domino’s Pizza is doing. The brand started running spots with clips (I suppose actual verbatims) from customer focus groups where the people panned their pizza: “The crust tastes like cardboard.” “The sauce is like ketchup.” And on and on.
Here’s a 4-minute corporate video that launched the same time as the new campaign.
The brutal honesty of the campaign is refreshing. While many client-types would deem such a strategy “risky,” to me it makes sense on so many levels. For one, Domino’s own research showed that 67% of ITS CUSTOMERS thought its product was in dire need of an upgrade. People didn’t order Domino’s for the quality of the pie. They ordered for the convenience, price and reliability. When you set out to launch a new campaign, you have to start with where your customers are.
Secondly, by taking such a non-conformist tone, Domino’s has been able to attract a ton of attention outside the advertising space. Over 700 daily newspapers covered the campaign. Late night talk show hosts have jumped on board. The campaign has been a trending topic on the Social Media circuit. Any idea what the “value” of this media coverage and conversation is worth?
Most importantly, this campaign provides a “sea change” moment for the brand. Rather than soft pedal a new formulation, the brand is jumping in with both feet, drawing a line in the sand. From this day forward, the brand seems to be saying, we will stand for something different.
Now, of course, the pressure is on Domino’s to pay it off. The proof is in the pizza, to borrow a metaphor. If the “big changes” the brand is promising turn out to be temporary or not so big, and customers’ perceptions of it remain the same, then all this publicity will have been wasted. Worse, they will alienate any new customers that may have come over as the result of this campaign. The brand will have damaged itself but good.
Then again, small risks limit you to small rewards. Bold steps can lead to “curve-jumping” results.
Only time will tell if this campaign from Domino’s is a success. But for the sake of all brands who are content to sell a below-average product, I sincerely hope it will be.
Posted by Mickey