We Guarantee a Bad Product - Fast!
Let me see if I have this right: A major brand is spending lots and lots of money telling us that for years and years its product has always been lousy. Until now, that is.
Thanks, Domino's. Your refreshing honesty raises hope for all humanity. Not so much for marketing, though. Granted, its positioning has been about delivery and not about taste, but can we trust a brand admitting that what its been guaranteeing has been quick delivery of something that "tastes like cardboard?" In case we didn't get the point, Domino's employees and customers all chime in about how abysmal the product has been.
To position a product or service, it's not necessary to denigrate the factors on which you do not excel in order to raise up the key differentiator. It's best to draw unfavorable comparisons to the competition, not yourself.
It's also not clear what this new emphasis on improving Domino's flavor quality will do to its positioning; this could very well muddy the traditional view of fast (and cheap) to the less-than-stellar "now, better tasting than cardboard."
As a promotion-heavy product, Domino's could have upgraded its taste; let customers find that out for themselves; allow favorable word-of-(literally)mouth to flourish; and employ PR 2.0 tactics to bring it all together in an effort to get new customers who customarily would not have considered nor chosen Domino's.
Instead, this too-much-information approach has already become a force of ridicule and doubt. And in light of Domino's recent YouTube public relations nightmare (albeit handled well) that showed us an unsavory example of pizza preparation, the severe attack on its own product quality just doesn't leave a good gut feeling.
Unfortunately, this campaign is likely an offshoot of reality show madness, which celebrates any boorish, violent, and self-indulgent illegal, immoral, and fattening behavior. When stars are born through a process combining unashamed badness with insincere mea culpa, a marketer aping that same process was inevitable. Domino's made terrible pizza for decades. Now, they admit it. They've entered flavor rehab. We wish them well. Congratulations to the Daniel Baldwin, Balloon Dad, and Snooki of the fast food world.