Brand entertainment tie-ins don’t get any more elaborate than Domino’s Pizza’s introduction today of an app with which customers can order a pizza, using facial recognition, on a virtual set of the Netflix sci-fi series “Stranger Things.” But the stunt does more than just show off a novel technology.
The promotion—one of several brand partnerships aligned with the forthcoming release of the popular show’s fourth season—speaks to the growing need for brands to engage with young customers using the properties they love and the channels they inhabit, Kate Trumbull, Domino’s senior VP of brand marketing, said in an interview.
In this case, it just happens to involve paranormal powers, 1980s nostalgia, video game culture and a virtual reality environment to accompany a cultural property wildly popular with young viewers on a platform where—for now, at least—traditional advertising options don’t exist. And it comes just as scuffling Domino’s could use a supernatural boost of its own.
“I think [young consumers] love to experiment, and be immersed, and escape—and I think that’s where we’re going with the metaverse. That’s the future,” said Trumbull. “And with gaming being so popular, we think this will resonate. And we have to find ways to find audiences beyond linear TV—and have to in ways that are relevant, and don’t feel like advertising.”