Domino’s gets panned for less-than-game-changing ‘game changer’ announcement

Domino's CEO Dion announces the new range

Domino’s CEO Don Meij announces the new range

Domino’s is suffering a social media backlash after a week-long teaser campaign for a “game changing” announcement proved to be no more than a new range of pizzas with premium toppings.

The campaign is the first major one led by Domino’s new agency Elevencom.

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Last week, CEO Don Meij claimed: “What we are planning and training for is the biggest initiative we’ve launched in years.”

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However, Domino’s today posted a message on YouTube and emailed its customers to announce the launch of the “Chef’s Best” range. The move appears to be a response to the progress being made by rival chain Crust which has built its reputation on offering better quality ingredients.

domino not game changer

The new video sees Meij tell viewers: “It’s a game changer.”

But the announcement – which follows a week of teaser ads and mailouts to its database – has been seen as an anti-climax by many of the brand’s customers.

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Many immediately took to social media to suggest they had been misled into expecting something more dramatic.

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 As well as the comments on the Domino’s YouTube account, fans have also been taking to the brand’s Facebook page, to express their derision. They have also been claiming that comments suggesting the move is not a game changer are quickly being removed by the Domino’s social media team. A spokesman for Domino’s told Mumbrella in a statement:

“We encourage our fans and followers to leave feedback for us on social media forums. We encourage transparency and believe in the importance of empowering our fans. This is evident in making the announcement before anyone else, giving away pizza parties for 100 lucky Facebook fans in Australia to be the first to try the new range this evening and also launching our new live store rating Facebook app last week.

“Facebook comments revealing the new range before the announcement would have been hidden and shared again after our reveal – which we perceived were Domino’s employees (against our social media policy) or if they had external links attached to them ( for the safety of our users).

“Our team respond to enquiries, complaints and suggestions regularly and we don’t shy away from feedback left on our page. We empower our fans and make it easy for them to leave feedback whether positive or negative.”

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  1. The Awful Truth
    10 Mar 13
    7:48 pm

  2. Old communication strategies on new media doesn’t work, never has however now you get the direct feedback verse the old days of patting each other on the back in the boardroom and heading out to Machiavellis for a creamy pasta and rich red to celebrate your c grade marketing. Maybe launch modestly and let the consumer talk about it based upon the quality and taste of your new range. Any who, heinsight is easy – at days end, crap Pizzas anyway.

  3. GH
    10 Mar 13
    8:20 pm

  4. “You just blueballs’d an entire country”…. You can’t copywrite comedy like that

  5. shamma
    10 Mar 13
    8:21 pm

  6. a lot of outrage for a pizza chain. perhaps these people need more in their life or at least better things to be outraged about.

  7. Calm Down
    10 Mar 13
    8:24 pm

  8. This reaction is truly pathetic. It’s pizza, not genocide.

    Also, bogans always complain about comments being ‘deleted,’ when in actual fact they probably get picked up by spam and swear word filters. I very much doubt Domino’s consciously deleted comments unless they were abusive or untrue.

  9. David Jackmanson
    10 Mar 13
    8:25 pm

  10. The most ironic thing here is that Dominos have already changed the game. Their “gourmet cardboard” pizzas (as I call them) have enough interesting ingredients to get people buying but are nowhere near as expensive as their Pizza Hut equivalent.

    It’s bizarre that a year-or-longer plan that’s been a strategic success has been marred by such silly publicity.

    Strategically, I predict that before long Eagle Boys and Dominos will dominate the “cardboard” and “cardboard gourmet” market, and chains like Pizza Capers, Crust and so on will do well selling high quality $20+ pizzas.

  11. David Jackmanson
    10 Mar 13
    8:31 pm

  12. Also, people complaining about Dominos skimping on toppings miss the point. They’re a discount chain, meaning every tiny piece of margin management can claw back is vital.

    If you want toppings slathered beautifully and generously on top, you’ll be paying for it.

    What Dominos SHOULD be doing is a heavy advertising campaign pointing out that you can use ordinary coupons for their gourmet pizzas. Other chains don’t let you do that and they would have to react fast or give up most of the cheap gourmet market. Believe me, people who order from discount pizza chains are VERY sensitive to even a dollar or two extra per pizza.

  13. Advertiser
    10 Mar 13
    9:48 pm

  14. Another shitty pizza ad.
    Bring back the little mouths with feet…..rather than the big mouth with all the cash. A cardboard CEO selling cardboard pizza.
    What happened to ‘relatable talent’? Clearly they won the account on the CEO being in the spot. Pathetic really.

  15. Insider
    10 Mar 13
    10:17 pm

  16. A CEO with an ego as big as the campaign itself. No wonders it’s a fail!

  17. Mitch
    10 Mar 13
    11:55 pm

  18. I was hoping for something like what Dominoes Japan recently released. AR Pizza Boxes, new app, celebrity tie in, etc.

  19. Kristen
    11 Mar 13
    8:25 am

  20. They’d have benefited from SEO, SEM & a Facebook app that worked on mobile too – my curiosity was piqued by the campaign but I searched on my phone & couldn’t find anything about it. (Now there’s only negativity appearing in search results… what *was* the news?) Unveil should have been really big… Free delivery, personalised pizzas & deals, pricing overhaul, order simplification, 18inch pizzas, nutritional info on boxes, locally sourced ingredient guarantee, preservative free… Disappointing.

  21. AJ
    11 Mar 13
    9:09 am

  22. Surely anyone that eats Domino pizza regularly is used to disappointment.

  23. Bem
    11 Mar 13
    9:41 am

  24. In America, Domino’s relaunched in August. They included a whole new menu with sandwiches, salads, pastas and lounges in their stores. That was seen as a huge game changer.
    This, on the other hand, is an embarrassment. Pizza Hut already has a gourmet selection and has for a while. Why hype something up so much if the competition already does this? Surely they would have known that it wouldn’t live up to the expectation and the social media ferals would rip them to shreds? This seems like a very mismanaged campaign

  25. Simon
    11 Mar 13
    10:08 am

  26. Interesting that they’ve chosen NOT to update their Google+ page that appears in the right hand panel on the results page for “dominos” – think they’ve realised they don’t want to pollute their huge amounts of branded search traffic with the negative sentiment towards the brand. Although I suspect Google news results will start to show as media outlets pick this story up.
    Poor Domino’s…

  27. The Worst of Perth
    11 Mar 13
    10:29 am

  28. They are falling behind Dick Smith

  29. Natalie Banks
    11 Mar 13
    10:36 am

  30. I agree with the statement the Marketing People did what they were asked to do and grabbed everybody’s attention. The executives did not deliver on the actual game changer. Do not sit on your hands now and say “any publicity is good publicity” because you know what – that is not the case it is up their with the tooth fairy! Nat

  31. NS
    11 Mar 13
    11:59 am

  32. honest to god what did people subscribing to Dominos’ emails expect them to announce?

    All they do is make pizzas you fools. Their announcement is going to relate to better pizzas, isn’t it?

    This is no more than a case study on the ability of social media to spark absurd overreactions of indignation and self-righteousness

  33. Sophia
    11 Mar 13
    12:11 pm

  34. Thank you Domino’s marketing team. You showed us how a tasteless campaign looks like. Just as tasteless as the Domino’s pizza. Right on brand.

  35. Anon
    11 Mar 13
    12:33 pm

  36. Virgin style cringeworthy guy claiming it’s hip to be square would have worked much better. If they would’ve been able to get the original cringeworthy guy then all the better.

  37. TS
    11 Mar 13
    12:42 pm

  38. Really people?! The amount of vitriolic commentary over a (granted, lame) pizza launch, is truly staggering? Has this announcement really left a crater-sized hole in your lives?? I pity you if it has.

  39. nick
    11 Mar 13
    12:55 pm

  40. This is now the top story on – oops.

  41. Hill Yid
    11 Mar 13
    1:22 pm

  42. Glenn Mabbott
    11 Mar 13
    1:55 pm

  43. A classic example of creative execution is search of a benefit to the customer. Is this first campaign by the agency their fault? It is if they did not insist on a business strategy worth spending marketing dollars on before implementation.

  44. Why would you?
    11 Mar 13
    3:04 pm

  45. Advertising aside why on earth would you eat Domino’s? There are small, local bowlo’s dotted around the country with Pizza joints operating within. They make Italian Pizza better than anyone and the price is pretty good too.

    Why go American for Pizza when you don’t have to?

  46. Thin & Crispy
    11 Mar 13
    3:05 pm

  47. Not the worst social media fail in history, but a great example of a company getting caught up in themselves with little thought to the outside world……this does seem to be a ‘game-changer’ for Domino’s, it’s just not for the rest of us who have had access to gourmet pizzas for quite a while now.

    This didn’t need the talk-up or tease, just a nice ad campaign to launch Domino’s gourmet range, and of course direct activity to all their existing customers via web, edm, in-store, delivery channel etc.

    Make a good product, promote it broadly (for this category at least) and let people use social themselves to talk it up, if they like it enough. Handing people an opportunity to smack you generally means they will smack you.

  48. DishWasher
    11 Mar 13
    3:57 pm

  49. Errk….
    $7 using coupons to buy 97% dough, speck of cheese and onion/meat.

    At least KFC Tues you get 9 pieces of chicken for $10 bucks.

  50. Dan
    11 Mar 13
    5:25 pm

  51. Game changing would have been the pizza in Back to the Future Part 2:

  52. Mmm
    11 Mar 13
    7:11 pm

  53. surely there are better things to be outraged about. move on, people.. its just pizza

  54. J
    11 Mar 13
    9:08 pm

  55. PS. The live store rating/tracker is bogus. The local franchisee in my area reports the pizza as being delivered up to 20 mins before it’s actually delivered. Prompting me to telephone the store to say “Where’s the pizza? It’s saying it’s delivered.” My guess is that it improves their stats when reporting back to head office.

  56. Tony
    12 Mar 13
    8:00 am

  57. Frriends who worked on this account at the now defunct campaign palace all agreed that Dominos was the absolute client from hell.

    I would imagine that Domino’s current agency would be scared to tell the CEO what a pathetic campaign this was likely to be, in fear of losing the account.

    I think when the CEO makes themselves the star of the campaign, there might be some ego issues – unless you are Richard Branson.

  58. Anonymous
    12 Mar 13
    8:39 am

  59. Interesting to know how many of these negative comments were made by Dominoe’s direct competitors. I don’t think people will shun away from their pizzas just by this ad.

  60. Anonymous
    12 Mar 13
    3:35 pm

  61. @TS – yes, for some, it has left a crater size hole in our lives. A pizza sized one!

  62. Chrrrris
    17 Mar 13
    12:40 am

  63. Are people really that suprised that it was just a marketing ploy and not a real ‘game changer’? What did people actually expect? A pizza shake or pizza kebab or pizza flavoured toothpaste? Obviously it was a marketing campaign (allbeit annoying) and anyone who picks up junk mail and really believes the special offers are ‘special’ has got to rethink how they are interpreting advertisements.