Domino's 'Pizza turnaround' represents about-face in marketing and product

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Domino's 'Pizza turnaround' represents about-face in marketing and product
Domino's 'Pizza turnaround' represents about-face in marketing and product

There is something about the phrase "new and improved" that doesn't feel genuine. It gets about 170 million results on Google. Instead, level with people. That is what Domino's delivers with its new "Pizza Turnaround" ad campaign, and the message is on target. The franchise admits that maybe they didn't get it right all those years and their pizza really did taste like the box it was delivered in.

It's a nicely integrated effort that serves up a healthy helping of transparency and vulnerability, putting the brand out there in a way that feels authentic and shows customers that their concerns are now Domino's concerns. It's the kind of communication that begins to build trust and drive engagement.

In this campaign, the research is the message. TV commercials feature footage from focus groups describing the pizza from bland and boring to downright bad. Domino's embraced this feedback, and Domino's president tells us that "there comes a time when you gotta make a change." Various employees, including chefs, tell us about improved ingredients. Of course, they don't expect us to take their word for it, so they revisit the original focus group participants. For non-believer holdouts, Domino's offers a reassuring money-back guarantee. Nice.

It comes through loud and clear that Domino's listens, and they want to keep listening. The campaign is fully integrated into the brand's Facebook page and Twitter account, and they're posting the good with the bad.

The advertising drives you to the "Pizza Turnaround" landing page where you can view a four-and-a-half minute behind-the-scenes documentary. It already has more than a half million hits and has been spoofed multiple times. Hey, if they're talking about you, they're thinking about you. The campaign has also gained press attention, with mentions on broadcasts including Mad Money, The Colbert Report, Oprah Radio and The Early Show.

It is a bold move by Domino's to restore trust. They do not ignore customer feedback and the power of social media. They understand how much power and control the customer possesses. l

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