Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Domino's Pizza. The New Deal.

So I finally had a chance to order the new Domino's Pizza.

I have been wanting to try it ever since they launched their "new pizza recipe" ad campaign a couple months ago, but just haven't had the right time. In case you didn't see the ad, Domino's ran a very self-critical ad on television and more completely on YouTube. The criticism came from actual  focus-group customers as they were tasting the pizza. At least, according to the ad. If you like advertising, it's worth a viewing.

Domino's made it clear that they were changing everything about the pizza recipe, especially the "cardboard" tasting crust and "ketchup tasting sauce.

The campaign was so successful that they saw an immediate increase in sales. This quarter's sales were above expectations, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Next-quarter sales will indicate whether it was a change for the better, a marketing ploy, or a change for the worse. A good ad will bring in new business but the product must match the promo otherwise customers feel duped and go elsewhere.

Rating the pizza:
1. Ease of order: A+
I ordered online and changed my order by phone. Since I had entered my phone number online they knew who was calling and which order to change. It was seamless. The only way it could be easier is if they could read your mind, it's that good.

2. Delivery: A+
Phone call prior to delivery. Delivered hot and as we ordered.

3. Crust: B
I am judging this based on delivery-pizza quality standards. And by that standard it was good. Not great. But good.

4. Sauce: C+
It actually tasted like pizza sauce but it was a little too intense on the pizza/tomato flavoring, in the tomato paste kind of way. Hard to explain. Very processed texture. The sauce was the weakest element to me.

5. Cheese and toppings: B
We had pepperoni, sausage and chicken toppings and they were good. The box bottom was a little greasy from the cheese drippings. That's a good sign to me.

Was it New York style pizza oven pizza? No.

Did they make changes and live up to the ad campaign. I would say yes. I would order Domino's again.

Final note: I tip my hat to Domino's for taking a risk with the product and marketing. Was it all dreamed up by the ad agency? Maybe, but it was believable, and they were willing to take a commonly held negative, the crust, and turn it into a positive with a "we heard you, try us again" approach.

Domino's YouTube ad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH5R56jILag

Agree? Disagree?
PS -- the occasion for the pizza delivery was that my son was home from Philly for Easter and he, the wife, and I were watching American Idol. I'm pulling for the boy from Fort Worth, Crystal, and the big guy.


Sunni R. said...

I have also given Domino's a try recently- my reason was that they are the only pizza chain that will deliver out here where we are, I had seen the commercial, and thought, what the heck. I got a veggie for me and the boys (Nick was out of town, otherwise he would have driven to Nizza Pizza in W'ford for us). It wasn't great, but it was good enough for a night that I didn't want to cook or clean up or load up 2 4yr olds and pick something up.

callie said...

I really, really wanted to like the new Domino's but I thought the pizza was entirely too greasy when it arrived. Don't get me wrong, I like greasy too but this was to the point of disgusting.

Suprisingly enough, the pizza tasted better reheated the next evening (I guess the grease soaked in for good). Sigh...back to Papa Johns.

Jake Good said...

Yeah, I'll take Papa Johns any day for a quick, dirty delivery pizza..

That is, if I can stop myself from ordering Rocco's (cause they deliver to my house).

Tried the new Dominos while the wife was away, I felt like there was an improvement, but not a million dollar advertising campaign improvement.

:: shrugs ::

Francis Shivone said...

Sunni,Callie,Jake --

Either I caught them on a good night, or I'm just a sucker for a good ad. Can't get Rocco's on the eastside and Charlie's Pizza is (sadly) long gone.

your mom said...

Ordering online was very easy and you can browse thru the different specials and you don't have to talk to anyone. After your order there is a status bar that shows your pizza is being made, in the oven and on out for delivery. Pizza was okay, not great, would consider ordering again but with Roccos and Perotti's and Fortuna and Joes and Palio's nearby it won't be anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, my wife and I decided to order a pizza from Domino's. Here are our results:

Ease of ordering: D

We went online and went through the whole process only to be told at the very end that our Domino's didn't take internet orders! That was frustrating. We called and were on hold for 5 a few minutes before we could order.

Delivery: A

They pizza arrived in 20 minutes.

Crust: B-

It was doughy and flavorless. Compared to any decent pizza it would be an F; compared to other delivery pizza, I suppose it is average.

Sauce: C

An odd taste, not very good at all.

Chesse: D+

The bos says that they use pure mozzarella with a "touch of provolone." The mozzarella flavor was barely there but there was plenty of processed cheese stick flavor on it.

Toppings: B+

The mushrooms were big and flavorful (quartered, not sliced) and the pepperoni was spicy. I was pleasantly surprised by the toppings. The best element.

Price: D-

A large pizza was $20 after tip. We can go to a real pizza place and get a much better pie for $16 after tip. Delivery is great but it's not worth the extra (excuse me) dough!


Taco This said...

This is an interesting post. I can tell you that I had not ordered Domino's in 15+ years, but they did sucker me in with their new ad campaign (so that shows you it is effective).

What I found was the same old mass-produced pizza. During the last 10 years there have been many pizzerias (primarily Albanian-owned) with competeting prices.

FWIW, my two kids (7 and 9) absolutely LOVED the Domino's pizza, and each time I mention we should get pizza I hear, "Can we get Domino's?" :-(

Francis Shivone said...

After reading all the comments including Taco's and Anonymous I confess (in the spirit of Good Friday): mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.