Domino’s Doomed to Fail?

We’re sure you’ve already heard/read about/seen it. Domino’s launched a new ad recently admitting its failure to make delicious pizza. They even went so far as to compare their own crust to cardboard, and their sauce to ketchup. Wow.

Being honest, admitting failure and illustrating a plan to improve usually fares well with consumers… under one condition: that the product really does improve.

Domino’s dedicated an entire website to this Pizza Turnaround. But hold on, we’d like to point out a few things first.

From a studio standpoint, we think Dominos’ ad agency did a great job with this ad. It’s appealing, well put together, and quite frankly, attention snatching. We watched the thing all the way through the first time we came across it. Had we been bigger fans of Domino’s in the first place, we might have tried the new stuff.

For the Record
Domino’s is making their claim based on the “promise” that their product has improved. New ingredients, new process, new pizza. That’s quite a heavy promise if you ask us.

Attention Please
Notice the Twitter stream on the right hand side of the page. It collects tweets about this new Domino’s pizza. If you read some of those tweets, you’ll realize a major flaw in this supposedly brilliant campaign:

  • “Tried the new Dominos pizza….. In my mind, collossal fail.” by ragecg 2 hrs, 56 mins ago
  • “New dominos pizza – Meh it was ok….better than before. Not near enough sauce.” by Jmeyering 8 hrs, 4 mins ago
  • “Will be getting my money back for Dominos #newpizza. What was I thinking?”
    by wilkenm 12 hrs, 10 mins ago

Why on earth is Domino’s making these negative reactions part of their promotional Pizza Turnaround message??

As the campaign reaches more and more people, and society has a chance to digest the ad as well as try the pizza, an interesting question is raised. Did the ad agency set Domino’s up for failure (however inadvertently?)? Is there any environment in which Domino’s can succeed after such claims and resulting negative reactions? What will it take to satisfy customers in the wake of this new campaign?

We don’t have all the answers to these questions, but we’re sure interested in watching what happens. As a design studio, we know there are risks of airing such an incredibly grabbing, and clever campaign and the bottom line is this: if Domino’s can’t ultimately deliver on their promise, it will sink them.

Don’t forget to check it out for yourself if you haven’t already:


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