Domino’s Makes Bold Advertising Move By Admitting Pizza is Terrible

Categories: Business,Cuisine            6 Comments     

It’s late at night, you’re hungry, and a big cheesy pepperoni pizza sounds just about like heaven.

As you rack your brain to think up a cheap and tasty option, you recall the numerous jingles and commercials. A weird looking toga-clad creature chanting “Pizza, Pizza!” Remorseless criminals trying to falsely present DiGiorno pizza as a delivery brand for massive personal gains. And more.

The question is, will the Domino’s 2010 campaign of presenting their own crust as “cardboard” and describing their own sauce as “ketchup-like” somehow tip the scales in their favor?

The Domino’s advertisements feature extremely negative customer reviews followed by their statement of commitment to doing everything they can to improve their pizza recipe. One commercial shows a picture of a mashed up mess of toppings and cheese in a box that was submitted by a real customer, which the representative deems “unacceptable” and vows never to do it again.

It’s certainly a risky strategy. Do simply viewers hear “tastes like cardboard” or “worst pizza ever” and agree? What if they move on to something else, completely missing the end of the message? And isn’t a promotion welcoming user submitted pictures of real food served by an international mega-chain asking for trouble?

Some analysts, however, think the shock value could really grab attention, and ad agency Chrispin Porter and Bogusky has a history of this kind of bold marketing.

A Washington Post article says that this type of “mea culpa” campaign, characterized by first “fessing up” and second “vowing to do better,” is nothing new, and historically has allowed various companies to demonstrate their customer devotion in an original way.

In addition, this type of creative, honest advertising can sometimes be refreshing for consumers, as Kevin commented on an earlier Burger King Soft Drinks post.

If they’ve already gone this far, then Domino’s might be well-served to build off of the marketing campaign The Onion has already nicely crafted for them.

The video below features the “Domino’s Institute” announcing it has just finished up work on a years-long study testing the limits of what humans will eat. We think that this strategy would likely be tickle city enough for Domino’s to grab everyone’s attention before announcing that they are going to improve their pizza:

Domino’s Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat

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