Domino's is back on the advertising circuit - this time for conveying the launch of two new products - Mexican Wrap and Italian Pasta. The brand continues with its 'Khushiyon ki home delivery' positioning, which it established two years ago. (Incidentally, it was on the back of this winning premise that its agency, Contract Advertising retained the account after a pitch). However, according to Dev Amritesh, senior vice-president, marketing, Domino's Pizza India, the task this time round was slightly different.
Usually, one product - mostly the pizza offering - is advertised; but this time, the best in both its new products had to be brought forth. "Furthermore, these two products have no common denominator we could play upon, so we had to somehow thread both their stories together," says Amritesh.
After a discussion with Contract, it was decided that the focus should be on the countries of origin of these two snacks, namely, Mexico and Italy; and regional/cultural nuances from those markets would be the platform for the communication.
Welcome to India
A little further down the road, Italian singers in elaborate gowns sing to him in opera style, chugging him along. Finally, he reaches his destination, as the song and dance 'junta' from the two nations cheers happily. Shots of the two snacks and an MVO wrap things up, while the happy delivery boy smiles knowingly and heads back.
As far as the insight goes, there are also strong cultural nuances that differentiate Mexico and Italy, the sources of origin of the two new products; but among these nuances, song and dance were selected as the chosen platform as they are the most 'identifiable' to Indian audiences, and the visual cues for representing these countries had to be easy to understand.
Classical opera singers, tuxedos, melody and sophistication in the music define Italy; on the other hand, senoritas with their enormous skirts, Mariachis, lively music, guitars and rhythm tend to connote Mexico. Domino's' attempt is to bring these two distinct worlds to the consumer palate in India.
Nima Namchu, executive creative director, Contract, says that the idea was simple: when one orders a Mexican Wrap or Italian Pasta from Domino's, it's like getting them delivered straight from Mexico and Italy itself.
On the use of the delivery boy once again as the Domino's food - and brand message - deliverer, Namchu elaborates, "When the brand comes in contact with the consumer through the delivery boy, it is natural for him to play the role of the 'deliverer of happiness' as well. However, unlike in other campaigns, this one had him playing a more central role, because the story was about the arrival of the wrap and the pasta."
The TVC prior to this one was for Pizza Mania, the economy offering from Domino's, which showed a school teacher at a remote location, who tempts her absconding students back to school, with the promise of Domino's Pizza.
For the record, the current commercial is not the first time that Domino's is advertising a product other than its trademark pizza. It advertised its Choco Lava product in December last year, the pasta range in August 2009 and the Calzone in 2007.
The commercial has been created by Namchu along with Ravi Deshpande, chairman and CCO, and Amit Shankar, creative director, at Contract Advertising. The director is Jeff Ballsmeyer, while the production house is FAR Productions with Jeet Surendranath as producer. The music has been composed by Ashutosh Pathak.
A budget of Rs 6-7 crore has been earmarked for this communication, which would be on-air for three months. While television is the dominating media (around 70 per cent), the rest would include in-store leaflets, direct mails to customer databases and digital media.
Domino's' latest attempt generates mixed feelings amidst the ad fraternity.
Manish Bhatt, co-founder, Scarecrow Communications, feels it is a natural take for the brand to borrow upon the cultural nuances of the regions from where its products emerge. And this isn't the first time either: earlier, for its Chinese pizzas, Domino's had Chinese characters and cultural innuendos dotting its communication.
"While it is natural for Domino's, one wonders if it is becoming a formula for the brand," he muses. "This ad is not out of the box, but it is fairly exotic to look at, with good production value that creates intrigue." But repeat value might be a problem, he asserts.
KV Sridhar, aka Pops, national creative director, Leo Burnett India, echoes his sentiments when he says that the commercial takes the 'easy way out'. "Regional nuances are the first thing a brand will look at in such a case - it is like showing elephants to represent India. The consumer will identify with such nuances, the job will get done, but the brief allows for so much more," he says, adding that the execution is in all probability, competent.
"But the story needs to be more charming, and more creative liberty ought to have been taken to take this brand to the next level," Pops signs off.