Can pizza repair potholes in the road? Apparently so. Here’s how.

by | Feb 1, 2019

I don’t know about you, but as a rule, I steadfastly try to avoid using corporate speak, clichés and management jargon.

You know what I’m talking about. When people start discussing concepts that are customer-centric, a strategic fit – the sort of blue sky thinking that results in a game plan that provides a quick win, often by going after low-hanging fruit.

Corporate speak often seems to be a no brainer for many people, all of whom appear to be on the same page and singing from the same hymn sheet. They all like to be in the driving seat, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s, using clichés all day long until the close of play.

For many people, the use of jargon represents best practice and they have no intention of going back to the drawing board, reinventing the wheel and finding other ways to say things. In fact, the thought of doing so isn’t even on their radar.

OK, I’m being silly now. But you know what I mean. If I’m being honest, I do sometimes use many of these phrases, but I tend to make it very clear I’m being ironic.

I must make a confession though. There is one of these phrases that I quite like, and that is “thinking outside the box”. I know, I know… you may well be cringing and in surveys it is consistently voted one of the most annoying phrases. I have sympathy with that view, although I can’t believe that some people profess to hate it more than ‘touch base’ or ‘going forward’.

But I do still quite like “outside the box” because it does touch upon something that is very true: it is so easy for us to limit our thinking and to be effectively confined. We get into certain ways of doing things and don’t see the bigger pict… Aarrrgh! Sorry! But I think you know what I am trying to say.

In marketing, it can be really important to have ideas that are a bit crazy and off the wall. Sometimes these ideas can be good in themselves. Even if not, they can help trigger a thought process that leads to proposals that are indeed viable.

The other day I was reading about how Domino’s Pizza in the United States came up with an PR stunt that is truly outside the box. (In their world of course, a box is made from corrugated cardboard, measures up to about 16 inches diameter and comes complete with a little white tripod in the middle.)

Someone definitely deserved a free pizza for lunch, because they came up with the notion of fixing potholes in roads.

Essentially, they approached a number of local authorities in US cities, usually smaller ones with limited budgets, and asked if they could fund the repair of road surfaces. The deal being that the trucks and equipment would be temporarily emblazoned with Domino’s branding and the whole exercise filmed and photographed as part of the promotion.

After doing a few repairs in states such as Texas, Delaware and Georgia, Domino’s then stepped up the campaign, tying it in with their social media. They asked people to nominate potholes in their local neighbourhoods that needed filling in.

The good-humoured publicity says that they are doing it in order to make sure pizzas reach customers intact and don’t get “damaged in transit”.

It’s not the first time Domino’s have embraced unusual ideas to help promote their brand by gaining media coverage and getting talked about. In 2015, they launched “pizza cars” in America. These modified hatchbacks were able to carry 80 pizzas and even included an “oven” to keep them warm.

The following year, Domino’s claimed to be the first company in the world to make a commercial food delivery by drone when they dropped off a couple of pizzas in the back garden of a couple in New Zealand.

In 2018, Domino’s attained record sales in the UK. On the Friday before Christmas, they sold an unprecedented 535,000 pizzas in a day – equivalent to 12 every second.

They have however had one or two issues on a global scale, with worldwide sales slightly down for the same year. They attribute this to poorer performance than expected in their new market region of Norway.

If they keep having good ideas though, there is no reason why such an established brand can’t turn things around stay on a successful course.

When it comes to having ideas, how are things in your business? Are you full of new initiatives, or are you a stuck in a box and starting to cool off?

It might be an idea to talk to us at CC Limited. If you decide like us and want to work with us, we should able to come up with some new approaches. The thing about us is, although we have all sorts of ideas, our creativity is grounded by solid commercial experience and a focus on what works, rather than showing off.

Give us a call, or send us a message.

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Phil Smith

Phil Smith