JWT Works Past Relationships To Lure Domino’s

J. Walter Thompson’s quest to land national creative duties on Domino’s Pizza began last August, when North American president Bob Jeffrey assembled a “SWAT team” of executives from New York and Detroit, sources said.

JWT made its move last August, a month after Domino’s installed new marketing chief Ken Calwell and four months before Suzanne Van Belkum, an executive in Domino’s field marketing (which the shop already handled) joined Calwell’s group.

JWT’s team included Jeffrey, New York ecd Mike Campbell and Martha Pease-Bardin, an account person freelancing at the shop, sources said. (After last week’s win, Pease-Bardin, who once worked on Pizza Hut at BBDO, was named global business director on the $100 million-plus account.)

Late last year, JWT won assignments to create national radio ads and a new product TV spot, sources said. And the week before Christmas, Domino’s approved scripts for five national TV spots, which JWT began shooting last week. Those spots, which retain the “Get the door. It’s Domino’s” theme introduced by Deutsch last spring, are due to break in March.

While Domino’s cited JWT’s brand-building capabilities in its decision to move the business, past relationships played a role. Campbell and Calwell worked together on Pizza Hut, when Campbell was a cd at BBDO and Calwell, a client marketing executive.

Sources also noted that Roger Galler ini, management director on Domino’s at JWT Detroit, and Van Belkum are former colleagues. Van Belkum was a management director at JWT Detroit in the late 1990s.

JWT’s stealth effort had a code word: “Bull Dur ham.” (The endeavor began Aug. 31, the day real-life ball player Lawrence “Crash” Davis died.)