Dominos Pizza Photo Contest Lacks Engagement

Domino’s Pizza, the second largest pizza chain in the United States has gone though a product overhaul lately by pretty much admitting the old recipe for their pizza was not good and to give them a chance again with the new recipe. Applaud them for not taking the nose dive that the Coke, New Coke, go back to the old Coke did.

We ordered and ate it out of convenience as we timed the delivery challenge of 30 minutes or less.  We did not care so much that it takes over 3 minutes to prepare it, 10 or more minutes to cook it, then box it up and put it into the delivery hot pak and then set the delivery route for the driver. No, we did not think of that, we cared about it being to our door in 30 minutes or less or it was free.  Minute 31 we knew regardless if the cheese was shifted to one side or stuck at the top of the box that it was free and free tasted good.

With all good things the 30 minute delivery came to an end and we found no differentiation between the pizza palor down the street who had mouthwatering pizza and Domino’s. They had to do something to lure us back and they tried to do just that with the new pizza challenge. Creatively it was good but the execution was, well, a bit lackluster. Calling out real people is great but there was no response per se. We did not feel anything for these people as we did not get a chance to even know them as we did with the Old Spice Campaign.  Albeit, Old Spice which could be one of the best online campaigns ever came after but from a big brand with one of the best agencies don’t we expect more?

Domino’s Pizza Photo Contest

In June, Domino’s launched a contest directed at customers for them to photograph their pizza that they ordered (either pick-up or delivery). Premise was simple, order from us, take a picture, submit it to and the top 4 entries would win $500 each and if they really liked your photo they would use it as their hero pizza photo.

Lack of Engagement

The idea behind this was pointed at the consumer to get involved in and be a part of the brand. It did not deliver. There was no hype, not a smidgen of a popularity through any interaction of the followers on big social media platforms (ie Facebook). There was not a means of submitting a photo via Facebook so all of the Domino’s followers could see and comment. They closed the doors on interaction. For something to go viral or even be a bit a hit, it has to empower the customer and have them connect and be a part of the brand and its popularity.

Let the Pizza Talk

If a brand is popular and talks back to you, you are hooked. Submitting  a photo of a pizza that was cooked for you, that would be posted to their site with no mention on other sites is a traditional means of advertising – one way communication. Sure they ran commercials on TV to reach the off and online users but it asked a lot of us.  Buy a pizza, photograph it with no parameters of what they were looking or except a nice shot of their pizza, then submit a photo for which you are responsible for letting people know that you submitted it by driving them to their website. And oh yeah they cannot “like” it or comment on it. We know that liking is a big deal these days.

We live in a time where we vote and not so much for a political candidate but we vote for people on reality shows and are a part of making them a winner. We love them and feel like we know them but we do not. Here with Domino’s we cannot vote for the best photo of a pizza that was submitted by a real person? We know that voting does not always garner the best results however with a campaign where you are asking people to buy and then do something that only 4 could win that is online just might beg for some interaction and giving back that you appreciate their efforts.

Listening & Engaging

As a small business or a big business you are able to learn about y0ur customer though listening and engaging online. We cannot deny that customers have talked for years about a brand but through a different means. Now we are able to see in real time what people are saying and for Domino’s, as it relates to this campaign, the consumer is not saying much. Why? They did not give them the opportunity to do so. They closed the door with just being able to submit a photo. Photos are powerful of something that we find and feel that we created by taking the photo. A shot of a foamie wave that we were able to capture as it hits our shins, we did not create the wave but we created the photo. A photo of a pizza that we had no part in preparing and being a part of the moment coupled with the inability to submit a video of how we took the photo is shutting the door on the listening and communication. Did they avoid negativity? Sure they did but even bigger they avoided the positive aspect of what this campaign could have done for their brand.

What do you think? Did they fail on execution?

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  • Liz

    Sounds like a half-baked idea the company thought would be cheap to execute and get them lots of attention. One out of two isn't bad.

  • Liz

    You know you know … as being in the biz, yes you know where corners are cut and how budgets are saved. How can you just ask people to post a photo and expect it to be a winner? We live in an age (albeit not necessarily to my 100% liking but where we vote for people to win as if we have some sort of connection to their fame. Ok if they did not want to get involved in that then at least have someone man the FB account. Sure posting things that you are doing is great but talk to the people who are your fans.

    Thanks so much for coming over here as it gave me a chance to find your blog. Love it!