IPR Excellence Awards: Winner: Consumer Relationships (Leisure) - Domino's emerges from the pizza pack

Campaign: Domino's Pizza Test Base

Client: Domino's Pizza

PR Team: Cohn & Wolfe

Timescale: January-December 2003

Budget: £20,000 fees, £10,000 costs

Last year, Domino's Pizza wanted to create a fresh PR campaign on a limited budget to run alongside its other promotional activities, which includes TV sponsorship of The Simpsons. The firm wanted to find a way to make the brand stand out from other takeaway pizza firms. Cohn & Wolfe was handed the brief and remains the firm's retained agency.

Objectives

To increase franchise applications. To position the brand as a pioneer in pizza delivery. To gain coverage in national and local press as well as lads' magazines, which had previously not covered the brand. To boost sales among key target groups, in particular 18 to 30-year-old men.

Strategy and Plan

Cohn & Wolfe created the Domino's Pizza Test Base campaign to look at innovative ideas to improve pizza making and delivery. 'Futuristic' ideas were developed to capture the imagination of journalists, including the creation of a delivery hoverboard, satellite-tracking shoes and a test base at Domino's Pizza headquarters.

Each idea was introduced in stages to gradually build up the image of a firm of innovators. The first stage, involving the hoverboard, targeted the regional media with a prototype - local franchises were made available to be filmed or photographed using the board and VNRs and photography made available. A press pack was also produced containing quotes from a road safety consultant.

The second stage, involving satellite-tracking shoes, targeted local and national media with the same emphasis on providing a fun, visual story.

For the third stage, the firm opened up its headquarters to national journalists, offering them the chance to spend a day as a delivery 'test pilot'.

Measurement and Evaluation

Cohn & Wolfe used Mantra to evaluate the coverage. In total, the campaign was covered 57 times, plus ten minutes of broadcast coverage. The OTS figure was estimated at 44.2 million.

Local coverage of the hoverboard story included front-page articles in the Birmingham Evening Mail and Sunday Mercury, and features in the Manchester Metro News and The Western Mail.

The satellite-tracking shoes story was covered nationally by the News of the World, the Daily Mail and Daily Star among others, and by local papers, including the Nottingham Evening Post and Crawley Observer.

Test-base coverage included a double-page spread in FHM, a segment on Sky News and coverage in the Birmingham News.

According to Mantra, all the coverage mentioned Domino's Pizza's commitment to innovation.

Results

During 2003, Domino's Pizza's sales rose by 7.4 per cent and franchise enquiries increased by ten per cent compared to the previous year, according to the company.

Following the campaign, a stronger relationship has now been built up with editorial teams at lads' magazines, with Zoo running a competition in association with the firm during Euro 2004.

Freelance journalist Alistair Weaver, who wrote the test-base feature for FHM, says: 'It was great fun, we didn't take it very seriously and it gave our readers a good laugh. It was a good way for a pizza firm to get coverage.'

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