Friday, January 22, 2010

Who Cares If Domino’s Pizza Is Any Good?

I wouldn’t normally put “Domino’s Pizza” and “bold” in the same sentence.

But now there’s this ad campaign hyping the pizza chain’s supposedly bold new taste.

Haven’t tried the overhauled pie yet, so I can’t comment on that. But the ads? Most certainly bold and unorthodox.

Instead of focusing on the company’s reformulated pizza, the spots surprise by dwelling on blunt customer criticisms of the previous product—“cardboard” crust, “ketchup” sauce, etc.

By breaking the unwritten “don’t admit you stink” rule, the campaign is getting a lot of attention. It may or may not surprise you that creator of this saucy campaign is Crispin, Porter & Bogusky, an agency famous/infamous for jarring and at times annoying advertising.

So, certainly, the spots have some stopping power. And they’ve got some integrated online goodness, too. Pizza Turnaround does a nice job reinforcing the company’s earnestness toward improving their product by posting tweats about the new pizza—and not filtering out the critics. It’s all very effective and memorable.

But wait a second here. Quick: What do you think of when you think Domino’s?

If you’re like me, you think “quick delivery.” That, after all, has long been the strength of the brand. And Domino’s seemed to be doing pretty well with that reputation, regardless of what people thought about the taste.

So why mess with a good brand? That shift in focus, not the admission of past failures, may be the real risk of an otherwise impressive campaign.

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