Domino’s Self-Effacing Ads Might Actually Work?

So the Domino’s ads you’re seeing all over the place are actually working. If you haven’t run into them yet, they basically say that the chain’s pizza was horrible, with customer comments like: “Microwave pizza is far superior” and “pizza was cardboard.” Now things are apparently different with a new, back-to-basics recipe.

Citigroup upgraded the stock, saying that sales will increase, and Jim Cramer’s excited too, saying the chain could even grow it’s store count. Readers who have tried it: Is it really all that much better?


ALSO: Sam’s Club Closings Shows Its Lag Behind Costco, BJ’s

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12 Responses to “Domino’s Self-Effacing Ads Might Actually Work?”


  1. 1 craig January 14, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Domino’s, in my mind, was by far the worst of the national pizza chains. I would say that they are now on par or better in taste and still the cheapest.

  2. 2 James January 14, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Such self-effacing humility is refreshing, these ads score big points with me and I am sure they will with others too. By contrast can you imagine Chase or any of the big banks doing something similar. After seeing this Domino ad do you really care what their CEO makes?

  3. 3 Shell January 14, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Watched the video…what a bunch of hooey. I wonder why they just don’t go back to the real ingredients of the 80’s recipe that fueled their growth. Can’t squeeze enough profit out of it?

    • 4 Kevin January 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Good answer Shell! I remember way back in the seventies when Dominos actually had a really good pizza. Lots a high grade cheese, fresh sausage (not precooked mystery meat), etc. How dumb do those corporate executives think we, the buying public are?

  4. 5 John January 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I remember reading an article years ago in which the CEO of Dominos (at that time) indicated the chain was NOT in the pizza business, but rather the “food delivery business”. No wonder the quality of the food was a distant afterthought for so many years…

  5. 6 Lenore Reynolds January 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    LAUGHABLE! How “in the dark” can you be? You and your chefs should have tasted other “authentic Italian Pizzeria” pizza long ago when you were getting complaints. How good could your chefs be if your crust tastes like cardboard?

    I am from the New York/New Jersey area where everyone knows good pizza, and Dominos is by far the worst pizza I have ever eaten.

    It was amaZing to witness in your own words how “out of touch” you are with your own product. If it were my food product, I would have responded to the first few complaints. My guess is that your sales dropped consistently and you have gotten complaints for years and ignored them.

    I hope for your sake, it’s not too little too late.

  6. 7 Matthew January 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Tried the pizza last evening. Certainly not as bad as what it was back in the late 90’s (the last time I had the pizza), but still leaving a bit to be desired. The sauce was better, cheese and toppings were ok, but the crust tasted more like a thick slice of bread than a pizza crust. It still isn’t good enough for the “pizza-snobs” in NYC and Chicago, and never will be, but as far as chain-delivery pizza goes, it’s right there with the rest of them.

  7. 8 Carl Todd January 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    When you listen to them on radio or look at some of the stupid adds on TV (worse than those on radio) you wonder about the mentality of the companies executives and board of directors (or should I refer them as stooges) that approved those adds.

    There are times I’m sure the turn off from the stupid adds at times hinder the sale of a good product.

    Even though America loves an illusion – Rings on fenders to give the allusion of a super charged engine under the hood (Buick), phony fins in fender wells to give the allusion of air cooled breaks (Cadillac), etc. the product producer eventually learn the truth in the old saying “You can fool me once, shame on you but if you fool me twice shame on me”.

    As Sy Syms advertised – “A smart consumer is my best customer” and that only works if your product is top notch and competitively priced.

  8. 9 Brian January 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    The current Dominos promotion here in Portland, Oregon is 2 medium pizzas for $5.99– What kind of quality should customers expect at that price?

    • 10 Kevin January 15, 2010 at 1:00 pm

      My favorite pizza joints tend to be indendently owned, and operated pizza joints. I can tell you that my home town, San Diego the best NY style is Bronx Pizza in the hillcrest area, and the best chicago style is Lefty’s Pizzeria in North Park area. Those are my two favorites. I hardly ever order from the national chains.

  9. 11 alan barocas January 15, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Could not help but comment on this subject. As someone who was born in the greater NY area and has lived in the south, west coast and midwest, i have experienced many interpretations of what Pizza is so i feel as if I can comment on this. THE SAUCE AND THE CRUST ARE THE KEY ESSENTIALS.Nothing else separates he good from the bad. Period, end of sentence.

    That being said, kudos to Dominos for admitting that their product needs improvment.The ability to be self critical in all walks of life is one of the keys for success. While it takes courage to do so, the rewards, if they succeed , are many. I wish them much luck and success. their pricing strategy is spot on. Improved product and this type of marketing will endear themselves to their customer.

  10. 12 Market Participant January 18, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Having senior leadership admit that your products suck and promising to make it better has always been a good strategy. For example Lee Iacocca’s ad’s for Chrysler in the 1980s. “If you can find a better car, buy it.”

    The problem is that Domino’s has always been known for uniform though flavorless pizza’s. That is a function of the bulk ingredients used.

    I just ordered one of the new pizza’s this evening. Although the flavor was more intense, it was still overly blended, such that you couldn’t taste any of flavors from the four toppings (olives, mushrooms, green peppers, spinach). Flavorless and homogenized pizza is real problem and so far dominos hasn’t solved it. Even if they moved to a bolder flavor profile.


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