The Noid is back. And it’s gotten a makeover.
Domino’s Pizza has brought back its red-suited, long-eared villain from the late 80s in a campaign that hypes its new driverless pizza delivery.
In a nostalgia-meets-the-future approach, the Noid is returning to TV ads. And that's not the end of it. The creature will also be featured in the "Crash Bandicoot: On the Run" mobile game. Noid t-shirts and tumblers are for sale on Amazon, and GIPHY has Noid GIFs. In other words, the Noid is once again going to be hard to avoid.
Domino’s worked for more than a year on the Noid's return before shooting the character's first full commercial in decades. The chain decided to “tone the insanity down a little bit,” says Kate Trumbull, Domino’s VP of advertising. After all of that research, can Trumbull actually confirm what, exactly, is the Noid? It's a “genderless alien,” she says.
The updated Noid pays homage to the original, though with some intentional changes meant to allow “a little more humanity and allow more emotion to come through,” says Trumbull. Yes, even creepy brand mascots are part of the marketing industry's "humanity" obsession.
The Noid, for the uninitiated, was a character Domino’s introduced in 1986 in spots from agency Group 243. With its floppy ears and red suit with an “N” on the belly, the Noid was determined to destroy pizza. Time after time, Domino’s survived the Noid’s attacks. The premise worked to promote the chain’s timely delivery. “Avoid the Noid” was a phrase that was hard to avoid for years.
Now, as the world’s largest pizza chain moves its creative account from CPB to Work In Progress, it is out with Noid-focused marketing that includes work from both agencies.
“We just trusted our guts that there’s just a love and a nostalgia that would make this successful,” says Trumbull.
The Noid is back in TV spots trying to disrupt a delivery being handled by the Nuro R2 robot, an autonomous vehicle that operates without a driver. The self-driving robot is being tested by a single Domino’s location in Houston for online prepaid orders at certain hours as part of a partnership Domino’s began with Nuro in 2019.