Domino’s Feeds Tech and Innovation with ‘Powered By Pizza’ Campaign

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You can dispute the exact fuel, but there’s no argument that fast food and late-night gnoshing can power the most successful entrepreneurial dreams. Domino’s Pizza is tapping into that reality with a new promotion called “Powered by Pizza” that expands the brand’s digital chops while also identifying it with business-building ambitions.

Domino’s said in a press release that it “wants to inspire groups—often brainstorming over pizza—with the proper food for thought.” So America’s No. 2 pizza brand is going to offer gift cards to individuals on the fundraising site Indiegogo who pledge support toward select projects reflecting great and innovative ideas. And in a “Pizzavestments” aspect of the program, Domino’s is awarding $500 gift cards to about 30 startup companies throughout the country.

“The reason this campaign works is that people already fundamentally get that it’s true: Innovators and creative people and students and everyone around the world use pizza to kind of fuel their late-night productive sessions,” Domino’s CEO J. Patrick Doyle told brandchannel. “We’re going to give pizza away to people who are generating those new ideas and funding those new ideas.” In fact, Doyle himself will sign a letter and cerftificate accompanying the prizes.[more]

Entrepreneurship is in the chain’s blood. Founder Tom Monaghan famously parlayed a small loan—for $500, actually—into Domino’s first pizza-delivery vehicle. And entrepreneurs (franchisees in this case) own more than 90 percent of Domino’s outlets, with the vast majority of them working their way up to ownership through one of the stores. “So we’re very connected to that idea” of building an enterprise, Doyle said. In part the promotion “is a little bit of paying it forward.”

In strengthening its link to entrepreneurs, however, Domino’s is joining a growing roster of big brands that, in one way or another, are attempting to encourage and reward business startups, some in areas directly related to their businesses where new ideas could benefit the brand, and others not. The list includes Lexus, PepsiCo and Nike. One apparent reason the number of such programs is growing is that, in a relatively stagnant economy, entrepreneurship is becoming a more important potential path to individual prosperity.

“People want to be a part of building an enterprise, having more control over their lives, starting new businesses and generating new ideas,” Doyle observed.

At the same time, “Powered by Pizza” — with a significant social-media aspect as well as a TV ad — plays to Domino’s strong and growing interest in dominating the industry in the digital sphere. Already among other things, this has led the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain to emphasize online ordering and to experiment with placing cameras in one of its outlets so that customers can follow the progress online of the exact pizza they ordered.

Doyle liked the idea right away, noting that the Domino’s marketing team and its longtime agency, CP&B, probably came up with the campaign idea “over a pizza.”

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