Domino’s and Brooklinen Share Their Biggest Pandemic Pivots

Commercial content, audience targeting and measuring return on investment

Christopher Thomas-Moore and Justin Lapidus spoke with Terry Stanley at Adweek’s virtual Convergent TV summit. Adweek
Headshot of Paul Hiebert

There’s no playbook for 2020. From the pandemic to the protests to the contentious presidential election, it’s been a year of radical transformation for businesses of all sorts.

To share some of their company’s biggest pivots throughout it all, Christopher Thomas-Moore, vp of media, digital marketing and product development at Domino’s, and Justin Lapidus, svp of growth marketing and digital products at Brooklinen, chatted with senior editor Terry Stanley at Adweek’s virtual Convergent TV summit on Wednesday.

Commercial content

Without time or money to shoot a new television commercial, Brooklinen asked its customers what type of messaging and products they’d like to see in a spot. The brand’s creative team then put together an ad using existing assets that didn’t contain footage of people gathering in crowds or working in an office.

“We wanted to make sure that our creative was sensitive to the time we were in,” said Lapidus, who noted Brooklinen only has two TV commercials and started advertising on the medium two years ago.

Likewise, Thomas-Moore said that after Domino’s had to toss all of its previous plans out the window due to Covid-19, the pizza chain focused on its content.

“The messages that we had planned and had slated in our calendar were just no longer as relevant as other conversations that we needed to have with our customers,” said Thomas-Moore.

Domino’s reshot a number of commercials remotely, including one that leans into the now familiar Zoom-like teleconference mode of communication during the pandemic.

“We are in a new normal and new environment,” added Thomas-Moore. “So we have to adapt with that environment.”

Audience targeting

Brooklinen scrapped plans to target three cities with a “ton” of local TV spots to see if it would generate a return before repeating the strategy with three other cities.

“Hopefully we’ll do that next year, but we just continue to be pretty conservative with our TV buys since March,” said Lapidus.

Thomas-Moore said that because people are consuming content differently and testing out new and emerging platforms while under quarantine, the target is constantly moving.

“We definitely want to be where our customers are and have a conversation in a relevant way,” he said.

Measuring return on investment

Thomas-Moore said that while Domino’s hasn’t made a fundamental shift on how it gauges a marketing campaign’s performance, the brand is continuing to refine its approach to going about it.

“We’re a data-driven organization at the end of the day, and so the data speaks volumes for us,” he said.

Brooklinen, meanwhile, continues to use promo codes, URL visits, spot attribution and shopper surveys.

“We survey our customers a lot, like hundreds of people every single day,” said Lapidus.

@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.