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Archive for June, 2010

Delicious pepperoni pizza. Photo by Stephen J. Sullivan, taken from stock.xchng.

People are notoriously picky about their pizza. Did Domino's earn new customers with its new taste?

Ever since I saw the Domino’s ads about its new pizza recipe at the beginning of the year, I wanted to write a post about its campaign. You know, the one where its chefs went on TV and repeated all the horrible things people were saying about its old pizza, while assuring you it’s much better now. Being an observer of food PR, I had to wonder how effective this campaign would be when I first saw it.

Pizza trashing

Yes, the company is following the favorite PR rule of transparency and honesty,  but really? Would this campaign improve sales and image? What would consumers thinks? Would people run out to try the new recipe? To be honest, I wanted to wait to post about this until after I had tried the new stuff, so I could add a fun personal anecdote of my trial. However, the commercials apparently did not motivate me enough to spend money/time on it. (It also didn’t help that I recently started making homemade healthy-ish pizzas that I happen to love.)

Apparently, product-trashing campaigns are not a rare occurrence. This article in The Washington Post discusses similar successful campaigns and features interesting information on Domino’s motivation for its product-change.

The results are in

Slashfood’s Leslie Pariseau just wrote a post on the current results of Domino’s newest campaign. Though I had my skepticism, it appears the campaign is working! Pariseau reported a 14.3 percent sales increase in this year’s first quarter, with sales expected to continue to rise.

Upon further examination of this campaign, I’m not surprised. Domino’s did a fantastic job promoting its Pizza Turnaround campaign and sharing with consumers why it was necessary to start completely over with its pizza recipe. Even though I haven’t tried it so don’t know if I would continue to buy it, watching its promotional video made me want to try the new pizza more than ever.

The documentary features interviews with Domino’s executives and employees discussing their reactions to consumers’ negative comments toward its old recipe pizza. Viewers get to see the effects comments like “microwave pizza is far superior” had on the people who represented and made it every day. Domino’s motivation for improving its product is made clear in this video. The company obviously cares about pleasing and retaining customers, and producing a product its employees can be proud to produce. The video was pretty effective, because it made me want to care about these nice people right back.

Domino’s President Patrick Doyle in Pizza Turnaround video:

You can either use the negative comments to get you down or you can use them to excite you and energize your process of making a better pizza. We did the latter.

The video shows the process of coming up with a new, tastier pizza recipe. Domino’s chefs discuss the taste and quality of the ingredients it now uses. I’m not gonna lie… the vivid descriptions and images definitely made me hungry for pizza. Good job Domino’s, you may have just gained another new customer for lunch tomorrow.

[Side note: I apologize for the lapse between posts. I have not given up my love for food, PR or writing, so I fully intend to keep up the blogging—starting now. Food news and publicity are everywhere, so it shouldn’t be a hard task! Thanks for reading!]

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