Domino’s CMO Explains ‘Friends’ Strategy

Domino’s Pizza is going to great lengths to promote its reformulated recipe. The chain this week kicked off the next phase of its “Oh yes we did” campaign, and it’s asking consumers to help spread the word.

“We’re really confident that if people will try our new pizza, they will like it, and they’ll even recommend it to their friends,” said Domino’s CMO Russell Weiner.

In fact, Domino’s is so confident, in its latest campaign, it sent a reality show crew and a handful of the chain’s employees on a mission to convert three unsuspecting consumers — Bill Johnson, Charlie Tames and Scott Shoyer. “We’re going after the holdouts [meaning consumers who haven’t yet tried the new Domino’s pizza],” Weiner said.

Posters, billboards, signage on trucks and even airplane banner ads were plastered in the hometowns of these three men to get them to try Domino’s pizza, which after some harsh criticism, was revamped late last year. (A campaign introducing the new recipe launched in mid-December.) Domino’s received positive reactions all around and turned the stunt into ads, which are now running on TV and online. A full version of the documentary can be seen on the microsite PizzaHoldouts.com. MDC’s Crispin Porter + Bogusky handles the $165 million Domino’s business.

Domino’s strategy, however, goes beyond the documentary. The chain hopes consumers who have tried the pizza will spread the word to their friends. In about a week, PizzaHoldouts.com will have a feature that allows consumers to nominate friends on social nets like Twitter and Facebook.

“We can’t do this on our own and reach all the holdouts out there,” said Weiner. “We need help from our pizza fans. We’re asking consumers to tell their friends about it.” Weiner added that those who participate would get rewarded with discounts for Domino’s pizza.

Weiner didn’t disclose the cost of this effort, but said it is in line with the overarching campaign. “Everything we’ve done so far this year has been about getting consumers to reconsider Domino’s,” he said. “Our goal continues to be about convincing people to try the new pizza.”

See also: “Domino’s Starts Harassing Idiot Non-Patrons”