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Domino's "Focus Group"

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It sounds more like a kidnapping than a focus group. But here's how this spot for Domino's Pizza (via Crispin Porter + Bogusky's Boulder, Colo., office) was made. Domino's packed groups of people into a limousine with blacked-out windows and drove to a dairy farm, where (without being permitted to see the external surroundings) they were questioned in a windowless room. After the focus groupers were given a chance to voice their assumption that Domino's doesn't use genuine cheese in its pizza, the walls of this room were suddenly pulled away to reveal that they were surrounded by cows on a farm whose real milk is used to make the real cheese that Domino's really uses. Before the "reveal," it's startling to hear the degree to which consumers regard Domino's as the embodiment of culinary evil. If you didn't hate Domino's pizza yourself, it makes you wonder whether your taste buds have been defective all these years. The obvious peril in such an approach is that the negative testimony will overshadow the rebuttal. But the physical evidence of an actual farm -- with a Wisconsin farmer who tells us the milk is "100 percent real from beginning to end" -- is irresistible. You might well disbelieve a conventional corporate spokesperson, but you're not going to doubt Farmer Dan and his cows. It's a powerful way of acknowledging and then defusing the skepticism consumers evidently have that Domino's uses good ingredients to make its pizzas. --Mark Dolliver