Once famous for its "30 minutes or less" pizza delivery guarantee, Domino's (DPZ) is now going a very different route, proudly trumpeting the fact that it will take longer for you to get your pie.
A new commercial for Domino's starts with a clip from an old "30 minutes or less" ad, before Robert Gavitt, a Domino's franchisee, switches off the TV. He goes on to explain that, "Domino's used to be all about speed. Not anymore." The chain's new pan pizza, he explains, requires more time to get right -- cooks need to hand-press the dough into the pan, add a second layer of cheese, and then keep it in the oven longer to get the perfect crust. The overall result: a better, not faster, pizza.
"It's not easy for us to slow down, but it's the right thing to do," insists Gavitt.
The slow-down promise is an interesting twist on the old guarantee, but it doesn't come completely out of the blue. Toward the end of 2009, Domino's debuted its re-invented pizza with an ad campaign called "Oh Yes We Did." In a series of self-critical -- some might say self-flagellating -- commercials, Domino's acknowledged the numerous complaints about the quality of its pizza, and promised to do better. While it never explicitly promised to drop its focus on fast delivery times, the campaign was the first step in transforming Domino's speed-centric brand identity into that of a business dedicated to crafting a quality pie.
The campaign was a huge success: Domino's same-store sales soared by 10% in 2010 and the company's stock has more than tripled in value over the last three years. With such impressive sales figures backing up the strategy, it's no surprise that Domino's has taken it to the next level by completely repudiating its old, speedy reputation.
The pizza chain hasn't actually offered its 30-minute guarantee since the early 1990s, and we doubt that a couple more minutes in the oven will make a noticeable difference in delivery times. But as an advertising strategy for emphasizing the quality of its new pizza, it makes a lot of sense.
Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.