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Domino’s Turnaround builds up then destroys their pizza and brand

By now you have probably seen the new Domino’s Pizza campaign from Crispin Porter called The Pizza Turnaround where Domino’s monitored consumer comments about the brand on social media channels and according to this feedback they created new pizza recipes. Crispin did a great job with the TV spots and a slightly longer form documentary because it makes you want to give Dominos another chance.  My wife who is a serious foodie even turned to me on the couch the other night after one of the spots aired and said ‘I always hated Dominos but after that I would give them another chance.’ The advertising did everything you could have asked of it because it changed people’s opinions and created an intent for them to act on it. Pop the champaign, make room on the trophy wall and tell the client to increase the advertising budget because we have a winner… or do we?

I went to the campaign site today to dig around a little more before I wrote this post about how successful the campaign has been when that feeling and my intent to actually try the new Domino’s came crashing down around me.  On you find the previously mentioned documentary, one news story and a Twitter feed that displays tweets with the tag #newpizza running down the right hand column. As you start to read down the column you quickly see that people’s love seemingly only extends to the campaign as I did not see one positive comment from anyone who actually tried the pizza. The first four found Tweets I read were “Tried the new Dominos pizza….. In my mind, collossal fail.”, “Meh it was ok…”, “im not feeling the new crust. i miss the old dominos.” and “not so great. Since when did “add more garlic/butter” = make things better?! Blech.”. That noise you hear is my intent to try the new product exiting stage left.

Using social media to give brand transparency to consumers can be a powerful tool but it has be used carefully and thought out to work correctly. In this case you are asking consumers to give your brand another chance and your advertising delivers that intent but it is a tenuous opportunity. From the time when you create that intent until the time when it gets paid off you can’t have any bumps in the road because the bond to the brand isn’t that strong yet. These Tweets are big bumps that are going to break that bond and kill the opportunity.  I don’t know why this site didn’t take it’s cues from the video it was supposed to support and MAKE IT A TWO WAY DIALOG!  Your video said you were listening to consumers and you were responding so why did that stop once the campaign launched? It makes the video feel like just an advertising stunt and that the brand really isn’t listening. You have a chance here to be transparent and let people post their thoughts BUT Domino’s has to be part of the conversation. They have to address these comments and not let them destroy what they are trying to build. It is the only way this is going to go from a quick fix to a real long term solution that will restore their business.

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