Published on .

March 5, 2001

By Kate MacArthur

Domino's Pizza is showing Bad Andy the door.

The No. 2 pizza chain breaks an estimated $20 million campaign today without its incorrigible puppet character,

Conclusion: Bad Andy was.
Bad Andy. Instead, TV spots from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, New York, use the new tagline, "Get the door. It's Domino's."

Patrick Doyle, interim executive vice president-marketing, announced the shift today during the company's semi-annual conference call to analysts to discuss the pizza marketer's 2000 results. The company reported flat domestic same-store sales and a 3.7% gain in international comparable sales. In this period, ending Dec. 31, 2000, the chain opened 418 stores for a total of 6,977 stores worldwide.

'Phones didn't ring'
"Bad Andy did not do what we had hoped he would do for us," Mr. Doyle said. Deutsch debuted the mischievous puppet last May to play up the chain's message that Domino's stood for quality. In the spots, Bad Andy would try to no avail to persuade co-workers to use shortcuts in prepping and delivering pizzas. But the campaign proved ineffective. "He did not make the phones ring," a spokesman said.

To deliver sales, the company is now making "delivery" its core message. "We believe where this brand has to live is on delivery," Mr. Doyle said. "We need to take ownership around that." Between 80% and 85% of Domino's $2.6 billion in systemwide sales is from delivery, he added.

About half of the $25 billion pizza category is owned by so-called "mom and pop" or family-owned operations.

Targeting families
Family continues to be the target market for the pizza maker, which puts most of its $125 million annual media budget in family-oriented and prime-time slots between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., or what Mr. Doyle called "decision points." Seven spots will comprise the first eight-week flight, with each execution set in different family meal situations, from watching TV to kids raiding the refrigerator. To add a hip edge to the family feel, the spots' score is the Pulp Fiction theme, Dick Dale's "Miserlou."

The shift comes as the chain is working to fill the top marketer post vacated by Cheryl Bachelder, who in December joined Tricon Global Restaurant's KFC Corp as president and chief concept officer. Mr. Doyle, who leads Domino's international divison, is still reviewing candidates for the post.

Wendy Davis contributed to this report.

Copyright March 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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