VIRTUE SIGNALLING DOMINO’S PIZZA
A viral reddit thread (originally reported by iSpot.tv) has revealed that Domino’s Pizza spent an estimated $50.4 million USD on an advertising campaign to promote their franchisees donating $100,000 in their efforts to support themselves.
That’s more money spent on one campaign than Domino’s has spent on advertising in any given year, throughout the company’s 82 year history, according to Statista.
Domino’s Pizza franchisees donated approximately 2,600 $50 Domino’s vouchers to customers who used direct Domino’s delivery, over third party delivery apps like UberEATS, DoorDash and Grubhub, according to Metro.
Domino's spent $50.4 million (and counting) on TV ads to brag about giving local businesses a total of $100,000 pic.twitter.com/2VD7Qm0uRA
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) February 10, 2022
The company said “with all of the fees found on delivery apps, local restaurants are often hit hard by the large chunk of money that the apps take from their bottom line,” as reported by iSpot.tv.
This recent campaign created an estimated 3.7 billion TV impressions, 3.6 billion national impressions and over 40 million local Domino’s ad impressions. But why not spend that advertising money on their franchisees who are doing it tough?
DOMINO’S PIZZA NEAR ME
In an age where out marketing your competitors generally leads to greater success, talking the talk can often count for more than walking the walk. And with Americans spending $46 billion on pizza every year – the pizza industry can be a competitive market.
Domino’s Pizza’s main competitor, Yum! Brands, Inc. owned Pizza Hut, has seen a dwindling market share in recent years, with Domino’s continuing to outperform the 84 year old pizza chain year on year. But how can this be, when both companies sell almost identical products?
Because in the world of marketing – perception equals reality.
Simon Sinek, author and now famous marketing guru, once said “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” And Domino’s Pizza has shown that using this strategy, amongst other things, can be a powerful method to marketing a business. Or manipulating your customer base – depending on your perspective.
In a November 2021 press release, Domino’s Pizza covertly highlighted Sinek’s message by saying “While Domino’s is the largest pizza company in the world, it is actually made up of stores owned by hundreds of independent franchise owners, with more than 95% of them starting as Domino’s delivery drivers or pizza makers.”
This statement goes deep into the psychology surrounding the marketing strategy of Domino’s Pizza, as a brand. It says (regardless of it being true): “We are for the little mum (mom) and pop shop owners who have been with us from the beginning. This is why we do what we do.”
And their customers value that – highly.
But this raises questions regarding how far the ethical boundaries of contemporary marketing should be pushed. Because at the end of the day, big business is all about meeting quarterly sales targets, creating shareholder value and railroading anything that stands in its way.
Great marketing can be measured by how successfully you have manipulated your customer base into handing over their hard earned dollars, and Domino’s Pizza scores an A+ on that metric.