Monday, October 11, 2010


Recently, Domino's Pizza began running this ad. Or, at least, a shorter version of same. Watch the ad before continuing on.

The intended message is clear, and in fact stated explicitly. As ads will do. Domino's makes good pizza- or at least, it does now- and though a bad pizza may slip through, they're working to make sure they stop slipping through. And since this customer in Byron, Minnesota had such a bad experience, we're going to make it up to him with a replacement pizza- two of them, in fact- and $500 in gift certificates.

That's the intended message, at least. A combination of a marketing degree and a job in customer service has given me a quite different perspective that, once seen, I cannot unsee.

The perspective of the Kasson Domino's, the place in the next town over that made it.

Think about it. Here you are, some little rinky-dink franchise in southeastern Minnesota, a town of a couple thousand people 13 miles west of Rochester. The place is full (an easily-accomplished task) of people who probably aspire to more out of life than slinging mass-produced pizza to who knows who. And someone in your little rinky-dink franchise made a pizza- one single solitary pizza- bad enough that it caused the CEO of the giant multinational corporation for which they work to make a handwritten apology, send a guy from corporate to not only make a replacement pizza because you can't be trusted, but then also tell you that your rinky-dink franchise is going to be the star of a nationally-aired commercial telling America about the kind of pizza Domino's is NOT supposed to make. The gift certificates were probably taken out of the store's coffers.

And imagine the length and volume of the butt-reaming for the ages that must have taken place with the cameras off from at least one if not several of the guys from corporate that were present at the time.

The morale of that place is probably shot to hell now. They probably never want to make a pizza again as long as they live. Every day from here on in, every person that works there- even the ones they hire post-commercial- is going to have to come in to work every single day knowing that if they screw up one single pizza- just one- whoever gets the pizza is probably going to be waiting with a camera, so they can take a picture of it and send THAT to the CEO in the hope of scoring a bunch of free stuff themselves, and stand a very real chance that the CEO may very well come in himself and do who knows what. And every time they try to put that behind them and move on, there will be some customer coming in making a note of some sort about how your place is "the one that made that awful pizza". Someone in the place probably quit almost as soon as the cameras were gone.

And imagine being the poor small-town schlub that actually made the pizza in the first place. God help that guy if anyone figures out that was their pizza that brought the full wrath of the CEO down on the building. They'd probably fire him on the spot as a face-saving measure. Imagine what you'd have to put on the resume:

Reason for leaving last job: "Brought shame on entire company, causing CEO to personally step in and spend significant amount of company funds to handle incident, and then apologize to customer and general public."

If you're in the area, and wish to patronize the Kasson Domino's, try to be nice to them. They've suffered enough.

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