Is The Domino’s Rebrand Too Honest?


Here’s something you don’t see very often: a brand outright admitting that its product is crummy. Or, at least, that its product was crummy.

Domino’s Pizza’s new rebranding campaign openly admits that the brand has become known for sub-par pizza. The campaign also promises to do something about it. From a branding perspective, the transparency is praiseworthy and, well, a little shocking. Historically, and usually with dire consequences, brands have been reluctant to publically address negative news. So good for Domino’s for having the confidence and self-awareness to deal with an unwelcome situation. But is being candid enough? [more]

“Did we actually face our critics and reinvent our pizza from the crust up? Oh yes we did.” That’s the message Domino’s is selling on the brand’s new microsite and in ads running widely on TV. The campaign features employees of Domino’s — from the kitchen floor to executive levels — lamenting consumer criticism of their former product and promising to do better.

It remains to be seen if consumers are buying into the brand’s new pizza recipe, or its updated messaging. Some critics insist that simply dumping a bunch of spices into the sauce is not “reinventing” a pizza. Others wonder to what extent Domino’s is actually able to upgrade its pizza. As we’ve noted before on brandchannel, the realities of the pizza business are brutal where profit margins often determine quality.

Furthermore, Domino’s — in the spirit of upholding the brand’s policy of transparency — is hosting Twitter feeds on its site, including brutally honest posts such as this one:

“@dominos #newpizza Dumping handfuls of hot pepper into the sauce does NOT make it tastier, just more painful to eat. Won’t be back. by legotech 8 hrs, 56 mins ago”

Is this level of openness admirable? Sure. Is it stupid? Perhaps.

Also, if the Domino’s makeover is a flop, can it be construed as a sign that honest rebranding campaigns are doomed to fail?