Domino’s has had its foot on the digital accelerator for so long that it’s interesting to see the No. 2 pizza brand take a new tack in its marketing.
To wit: “Domino’s Pizza School“—a microsite where visitors can learn how to replicate the secrets behind the company’s great pizza—and an accompanying marketing campaign that takes aim at Pizza Hut.
While Pizza Hut, the industry leader, has been stumbling lately, Domino’s sales comps have been surging ahead as it continues markets digital innovations such as its “Dom” voice-ordering app.
But it’s been a few years since Domino’s focused much on its actual food, when it introduced an all-new, fresh pan-pizza line. That upgrade of its menu, of course, followed by a couple of years a blow-out marketing campaign in which the brand acknowledged the shortcomings in its basic pizza recipe, which it determinedly improved.
Taking aim at Pizza Hit, one digital ad shows Domino’s setting up in the parking lot of a barely disguised Pizza Hut, and challenges its rival’s employees to learn how to make a good product. “We used to have some gimmicks too, but we got back to the basics and now we’re back to making authentic, real pizza,” a Domino’s employee tells one Pizza Hut worker. Various videos talk about Domino’s pizza being “novelty-free” without “crazy concoctions.”
On the microsite, Domino’s shows how artisans use a six-finger method for rolling out a pizza crust, for instance, as well as lessons about sauce-making authenticity, cheese and toppings. There’s also a behind the scenes video showing how Domino’s constructed the scale-model “campus” of its Pizza School using 1,000 pizza boxes and about 500 man-hours.
Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle lately has been hammering the theme that the company wants to make online ordering possible with the greatest ease from the greatest number of locations of any player in the industry, and this positioning has continued to drive Domino’s financial results higher.
Now, Doyle wants everyone to stop and smell the actual product—with an eye on overtaking the industry leader.