Domino’s Part 2

So. I figure after slamming Domino’s for their “we used to taste like crap but try us because now we don’t taste as crappy as we used to” advertising, I am going to give them some credit.

They have a new ad doing something I believe more companies should do (selectively but more often). They are comparing their pizza to Papa John’s straight up, by name, in a competitive ad.

What I like about what Domino’s is doing?

  1. They are indirectly saying they taste good. In other words, they are not saying it but rather a third party is saying so. In addition, perceptionwise (it may not be reality), people believe Papa John’s is a good tasting pizza. If Domino’s beat them in one-on-one taste test well…Domino’s must taste better than we thought.
  2. This is a switching strategy. They might expand the category slightly but in general they are gaining sales at the direct expense of a competitor. Smart strategy.
  3. Side by side test comparisons (using names) in categories like delivery pizza are genius. No one buys both at the same time and compares. You buy, you eat, you taste and you assess. No comparison (unless your taste buds have a limitless memory).
  4. They didn’t overreach. They didn’t claim they tasted good. They didn’t claim they tasted as good as restaurant food or home cooked. They didn’t claim they were as good as anything Chef Wolfgang Puck or even Chef Boyardee could make. They simply went for the tallest midget strategy – best tasting delivery pizza.

Now. I am not quite sure I understand why the “Domino’s Top Chef” is the spokesperson (I admit I find it slightly amusing that Domino’s delivery pizza would actually have a ‘chef’) but, what the hell, I get why they want people to believe they have chefs designing their pizza so if that’s their gig so be it.

Anyway. Back to competitive advertising. In general many companies have a standard rule to never compare their products by name with a competitor (in P&G internal marketing guidelines they actually prohibit it). Some companies argue it’s a question of character. Some claim naming a competitor legitimizes them.

Well. That’s all a bunch of baloney.

Here’s the deal. As long as it isn’t lies. As long as your aren’t defaming the character of the competitor. As long as it is a functional competitive comparison I say go for it.

This whole bullshit about “naming your competitor gives them free awareness” is silly. If you are truly highlighting a functional, meaningful, relevant difference, then the awareness you are creating is one of an inferior product.

Bottom line. If you are better than someone else don’t hesitate to tell people. Don’t boast (that’s tone). Just tell the facts as simply as possible. And tell the truth (because, trust me, if you are playing with numbers or minutiae the internet will uncover every little thing you have tried to hide or overlook).

Plus. The easiest way to get sales is from a competitor. You aren’t teaching anyone about why to buy something in your category you are simply teaching them to buy yours instead of ‘theirs.’

Anyway. Nice comeback by Domino’s.

Written by Bruce