Ashwini Gangal

Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun

Adding to the year-end festive spirit and cashing in on the increasing popularity of dial-in pizzas, Domino's breaks an ad film to popularise the Double Burst pizza.

In a move to put forth its latest product -- the Double Burst pizza -- a new film for Domino's burst (pun intended) on TV on November 25. The brand's 'Khushiyon ki home delivery' thought persists. The ad spends for this campaign are pegged at approximately Rs 7-8 crore.

Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun
Dev Amritesh, senior vice-president, marketing, Domino's Pizza India speaks to afaqs! about the main objectives of this campaign. "Delivering continuous innovation through new products is one of the core aspects of our strategy. The Double Burst pizza is an indulgent new pizza that is filled with two creamy and cheesy liquids."

He adds that the current ad film is the launch TVC for this product. "The main goal of the campaign was to be bring alive the product format and position it as an extremely tasty pizza, where you could get lost in its taste."

Domino's has been quite consistent on the innovations front. Recall that in August 2010, Domino's launched two products, namely, the Mexican Wrap and Italian Pasta. Prior to this, the brand rolled out Pizza Mania, a more affordable product offering. Both these offerings were communicated with the help of ad campaigns created by Contract Advertising, the brand's creative AoR.

Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun
Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun
Last year, Domino's came out with a new dessert, Choco Lava and a new pasta range; it also introduced the Calzone three years back. All these offerings were advertised at the time of their respective launches.

Contract Advertising has crafted this new TVC as well. The 40-second film, aptly titled 'Twins', begins with the visual of a delighted gentleman being handed his newborn twins by a nurse. His smile turns into a look of confusion when he sees two more fathers in the hospital corridor, holding a pair of newly born twins each.

The next few scenes show how communities and tribes across the globe are celebrating the arrival of twins. The last scene brings with it a touch of humour, when an angel is shown seated in heaven, enjoying Domino's new Double Burst pizza. Lost in its delicious taste, he accidentally presses the 'twin' button on his computer screen. Thus, the new pizza is, apparently, the reason for this twin overload down on earth.

A soundtrack accompanies the film. Towards the end, an MVO says, "Do (two) delicious creamy aur cheesy burst se bhara Domino's ka naya double burst pizza. Matlab dil pighal jaye double baar. Dominos -- Khushiyon ki home delivery."

The creative team at Contract comprises chairman and chief creative officer, Ravi Deshpande; executive creative director, Nima DT Namchu; creative directors, Aneesh Jaisinghani and Sambit Mishra; and associate creative directors, Uddipta Borah and Vimal Singh. The film has been directed by Razy Ghai; the producer is Sunil Bhatia of Via Us Production House. Dhruv Ghanekar has composed the music.

Namchu states that the creative task was to focus on the new product, adding that the creative idea drew on the consumer insight that the happiest moment of one's life is the birth of a child. "We thought of doubling that," he says simply.

He explains that in the brand's communication, there is always a linear story that goes along with the product story. The recent ad for the Mexican Wrap linked happiness with culture arriving along with the product; while the communication for Pizza Mania spoke about how the brand brings happiness via both value and accessibility.

For this season, there is just one TVC for the product. Besides TV, the media mix for the present campaign includes point of sale material such as fliers and leaflets (which are distributed in catchment areas of Domino's stores), banners and danglers for in-store promotion; and digital media including Domino's website, mailers and social media networking through the brand's fan page on Facebook.

Is the campaign twice as nice?

Manish Bhatt, co-founder, Scarecrow Communications, shares his thoughts on this film. "I love the way Domino's has furthered its journey, ever since its shift from the functional positioning 'Hungry Kya', to the more emotional positioning of 'Khushiyon ki home delivery'," he tells afaqs!.

In fact, Bhatt -- along with Raghu Bhat, founder director, Scarecrow Communications -- was instrumental in this change a couple of years ago, when the duo was in Contract Advertising.

Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun
Domino's: Two layers of flavour; twice the fun
"The agency is on the perfect track, as far as taking this brand thought forward goes. It has done full justice to the tagline by going beyond clichéd mush usually associated with terms such as 'khushiyan'. Kudos to the client as well, for being receptive to the agency's ideas," Bhatt elaborates.

According to him, the acid test now is the amount of happiness this particular film delivers to the consumer, as "Subliminally, the ad must deliver 'khushiyan' to the consumer." He adds that the ad tick-marks the cuteness, humour and disruption boxes as well.

He goes on to point out a few warts in terms of the execution, however. "The cinematography of this TVC is erratic and is not as good as that of the previous Domino's films (Mexican Wrap and Pizza Mania). The execution quality, in terms of look and feel, is far better in the brand's other ads, as they seem more true to their respective storylines," he critiques.

Specifically, Bhatt finds execution-related flaws in the scene that shows Africans and the one that portrays the angel in heaven. "When you do a montage with a challenging story, every scene in the sequence must seem genuine, as consumers today can detect fakeness easily. This looks like a budget constraint on the part of the client."

Elvis Sequeira, former vice-president and executive creative director, JWT India -- who is now on the threshold of joining Good Morning Films in the capacity of director -- tells afaqs! what he thinks about this campaign.

"I think 'Khushiyon ki home delivery' is a very cleverly crafted brand line with immense potential for great, surprising and warm stories. And I still call for a Domino's Pizza, despite what I think of their advertising. So, maybe something is working there," he says half in jest.

On a serious note, he elucidates, "I think their scripts try so hard that they end up being too 'constructed' instead of simple, effortless and charming. 'Mexico-Italy' was one-dimensional; 'School' came close with emotional content, but missed the point. And this one, 'Twins', just plain loses the way and a great opportunity."

He adds that while he understood the subtle connection between the word 'delivery' and the idea of pizza delivery, he feels it must have sounded better at the ideation stage and that it doesn't do justice to what could have been.

"The film delivers to the premise and even manages to hold and intrigue you, as you wonder why all these twins are being born. So, the setup is good, and all elements of the execution -- music, look, casting -- are competent. But I don't think anyone attempted anything new here," Sequeira continues.

He concludes that it's hard to hate this TVC. "It's difficult to love it either," he sighs.

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