Domino's: A creative delivery for the 'delivery experts'

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | July 04, 2011
In a new commercial to convey Domino's Pizza's '30 minutes or free' delivery promise, Contract Advertising has worked upon the 'sheer dedication' of the delivery boy to make it in time to deliver pizzas, despite difficult road and traffic conditions.

What started as a tactical promise for Domino's Pizza -- the 30 minutes or free delivery guarantee -- went on to become a USP of sorts, and finally, a brand positioning premise. Domino's Pizza has been at it for years now, publicising its superior 'on time' pizza delivery service since the days of the Paresh Rawal commercials many years ago -- a tactical communication that resulted in a larger brand thought 'Khushiyon ki home delivery' in 2008.

This statement then featured in all the ads for the brand subsequently, be it for the re-launch of the Pizza Mania series in May, 2011, or the launch of the pasta and Mexican wrap series, some time ago. However, these were specific product-oriented films; the brand has now released its second ever thematic brand film on 'Khushiyon ki home delivery', and this one deals with the 'sheer dedication' of the delivery boy to make it in time to deliver pizzas, despite difficult road and traffic conditions.

The commercial has a little girl waiting for her pizza to arrive, and she wonders innocently about all the things that could be possible roadblocks in the journey of a Domino's Pizza delivery boy, and lastly, she marvels at how he manages to make it within 30 minutes each time, delivering 'happiness' as a result. The film has been directed by Shoojit Sircar of Rising Sun Films.

According to Harneet Singh Rajpal, vice-president, Domino's Pizza India, "We are the leaders in the organised pizza delivery segment. This communication reinforces our brand promise, and we hope to increase our delivery preference amongst our TG (target group)." Domino's claims to have a 70 per cent market share; 55 per cent of its revenue comes from delivery, and the remaining 45 comes from take-away and dine-ins.

Nima Namchu, senior vice-president and executive creative director, Contract Advertising, adds, "Over the years, Domino's has been accepted as an expert in delivery of great tasting pizzas, because of the underlying passion to serve consumers great food at their doorstep and make them happy in 30 minutes. The objective here was to reaffirm the delivery expertise of Domino's by building an emotional connect."

The insight Contract worked on was simple. Namchu states, "We've always found it amazing that, while most of us get caught in traffic even on a good day, the Domino's delivery guy always arrives on the dot, no matter what the conditions out there. How do you explain that? Is it sheer dedication? Or, is there a greater force working to make it happen? We decided to imagine the journey through the mind of a child while juxtaposing it against the reality of Indian traffic and weather." So, the efficiency with which Domino's delivers can make anyone wonder how it is all possible; hence the child knows that Domino's always delivers on time -- she is just shown wondering how it is possible.

The film is presently being aired on television, and social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter.

Message delivered?

The commercial has a lot going for it, as experts point out, but some things work against it, too. Rajeev Raja, national creative director, DDB India, says, "Honestly, this ad leaves me with a 'been there, seen that' feeling. Most people in the target audience know that Dominos delivers in 30 minutes. So, I really can't understand the need to re-emphasise this."

He allows for the fact though that it is possible that the marketing team felt the need to appeal to a whole bunch of children who have recently entered the target group, but rather than relying on a tried and tested method, the brand ought to have tried a different creative route, he feels. "Overall, the ad does its job, but not much else," he shrugs.

Narayan Devanathan, chief strategy officer, Euro RSCG India, opines that the ad makes an attempt to leverage a child's pester power, and succeeds there, by making use of a child's natural curiosity in an endearing manner. "I'm not sure though that this ad is for the right target audience, or whether it's the right tone of voice. I can definitely see a lot of teens and young adults -- the other TG for pizza consumption, I would imagine -- being turned off by this," he says.

He further suggests that instead of harping on the already established 'Khushiyon ki home delivery' idea, the brand would be better served by reminding people of more 'usage occasions' that will increase consumption frequency.

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