Domino’s to Pizza-Lovers: Can You Handle the Truth?


Six months ago we wondered if the Dominos rebrand was being too honest, asking, “Is this level of openness admirable? Sure. Is it stupid? Perhaps.”

Turns out it wasn’t so stupid after all. By March Domino’s sales were way up. By May, same-store sales rose 14.3%. Now July sees the chain’s stock up following rosy projections about continuing sales.

So is Domino’s going back to business as usual? Will the brand continue down the road of self-improvement, fashioning itself a brand of excellence?

No. It’s going to burn it down. Burn it all down.[more]

Emboldened by the (perceived) success of their “just tell it like it is” campaign, Domino’s is taking a page from Wikileaks and blowing the whistle on pizza advertising. In its latest effort to be more transparent and truthful with customers, it’s pulling back the curtain on all the sly tricks pizza brands pull to improve the look of their products (above).

Adios, food stylists — Domino’s is cutting the cheese and doesn’t need “all those silly tricks they use in fancy photo shoots.”

And, of course, what would any Dove-like “Be Real” campaign be without a user-generated crowd-sourced photo gallery? Not real, that’s what! It’s also inspiring other fast food brands like Chipotle to trim the spin from their marketing.

Domino’s was smart and lucky with its first push, because it was specific to its own brand. Domino’s was basically apologizing for making a crappy product, promising to do better, and begging consumers to give the brand another try. It has heart, it was sincere, and it was focused.

Domino’s has missed the point entirely about why its original campaign was so attractive. Six months ago, the competition the brand was singling out was itself.

Now however, Domino’s appears to have forgotten the point of the “be real” approach was inner-focused, about truly challenging its own brand. While the campaign’s message aims to be one of alternative advertising, of going against what everyone else is doing, it’s really just the same old thing: “We rule. They suck!”


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