The Curious Case of the Pizza Turnaround Story

I shall fulfill my promise to continue the Fabric Conditioner story tomorrow. In fact even started writing my take on that. But accidentally I stumbled upon this very interesting piece. So, couldn’t resist to write on this for today. This is literally ‘flash.. flash’ for me.

I just realized that Domino’s has used a very bold strategy to create new news. And I should say – some very well planned and timely ‘news’ at that.

Ok, for those among you for whom this is news too, let me summarize it in the briefest way possible:

  • Domino’s has acknowledged that there are consumers who feel that a piece of its Pizza is as crappy ‘as a cardboard’ (yes they did!)
  • It has accepted the fact – went back to the kitchen (quite literally) and came up with a new Pizza
  • And it has done all this through a video – starring real people at Domino’s and real customers

As a teaser check this out.

Before you read any further, see the complete video of 4:21 mins that shows how and why Domino’s has gone about what it calls as ‘The Pizza Turnaround’ here.

So what is all this fuss all about?

Every once in a while a brand needs to re-invent itself. It needs to create some news and excite its customers. So it tweaks one or more of it’s P’s in its marketing mix and does what is called a Brand Relaunch. Some of the recent examples of major brand relaunches are:

  • Pepsi’s redesign of its logo and other design elements (interestingly there are more rants over this than raves. Read one such review here how this is branding lunacy to its max)
  • The iconic Liril soap in India has been relaunched as ‘Liril 2000’ (read the story here)

So you have here – a very smart and well crafted ‘Ad’ (in fact what you see here is just a part of a bigger plan) that communicates a brand relaunch of Domino’s. Yes all these words are well chosen. And I shall explain each of that here.

For starters it is the 50th year of the brand Domino’s. Many brands normally make use of such occasions to create some news to gain some share of voice in the minds of it’s consumers. Some make a sexy ad campaign to announce their celebration and create some sound bytes in the noisy ad mad world out there. Some give away freebies. Some adopt the path of promotions. Some bring in some add-ons to the brand. If not anything some at least say a big ‘Thank You’ for all its customers and propagate some ‘United – we – stand’ kind of message. All these have become common place. Almost every lever and string of every ‘P’ of the marketing mix has been pulled for this. And such tactics no longer count (forget even being called as a strategy).

So Domino’s had to do something to announce their 50th year in a big way. It had to be strategic. And at the same time as good marketers they had to ensure the following:

  • Drive relevance of their product
  • Show that they have come even closer to their customers
  • Prove that they are genuinely listening to even their strongest critics
  • Speak how passionate they are about their product
  • Show how seriously they take their Product that they sell to their customers and thereby build an interesting story around their Product

Now see the video again. You got it! This is a perfectly crafted Ad campaign that makes sure that they are bang on w.r.t each of the obvious objectives for a major Brand Relaunch. In fact the video that you have just seen is a campaign by the agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Now you can see that every word and gesture in the video has been very carefully scripted and shot with some drama and emotion packed in so as to create some excitement – something sensational and gain as much traction as possible with the target customers.

And wait, that’s not all. If you see the site carefully, you see icons that encourage you to mail, tweet and share this on face book. I would strongly recommend you to to click on these icons and see for yourself how they have built in a 360 degree kind of approach to Social Media Marketing to this Relaunch.

Now you can see all pieces falling into place – a major product over haul that has been sought to be communicated by a seemingly viral video with some drama and emotion, flanked by the instant social interactive means of e-mail, facebook and twitter. And not to forget blogs like this. [Disclaimer: I don’t have any business interests with Domino’s 🙂 ]

Now, lets see what is the worst that could happen as a result of this Brand Relaunch communicated in this way in each of the 3 scenarios:

  • You were a fan of Domino’s: You would only like the brand more and chances are that you would actively propagate this ‘news’ to your friends
  • You were indifferent to Domino’s: Chances are that the eternal sceptic in you sees its curiosity piqued. If you have to buy the story, you would first feel yourself pulled to the Domino’s Pizza the next time you have a Pizza so that you can evaluate their story first hand
  • You  hate Domino’s: Chances are that you are unwilling to believe this story and you want to disprove everything. But for that you know you need to buy the pizza and then write the story off!

As a result of this, at least the short term goal of a pretty good spurt in sales is guaranteed. For a long term loyalty from its customers: obviously the product has to speak for itself.

What if the product is still bad? Then it would be a dud and would in fact backfire. Else, this shall be one very interesting way to relaunch your brand. A damn ballsy way to celebrate your 50th anniversary!

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