Domino's Unlikely Savior? Its Own Terrible Pizza
'If they knew the pizza was Domino’s, they actually liked it less'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2017 7:15 PM CDT
In this Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, file photo, a worker prepares boxes at a Domino's pizza restaurant in Lagos, Nigeria.   (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

(Newser) – Come for the fascinating story about how Domino's went from a failing franchise with notoriously terrible pizza to a company so confident of its success it's experimenting with pizza-delivering robots; stay for the bizarre digital embellishments that send anchovies and "breadstix" flying across your computer screen. Domino's Pizza was in a bad way in 2008 due to declining sales, Bloomberg reports. People just didn't seem to like the pizza. "If they knew the pizza was Domino’s, they actually liked it less," one former executive recalls of consumer tests. That's when Domino's did something a little out there: It admitted its pizza sucked. Then it went even further out there, creating a national ad campaign about its terrible pizza that debuted in 2009.

"We decided that we were really going to roll around in it," the former executive explains. The unorthodox choice of reveling in the awfulness of its own product paid off. Domino's was the topic of every talk show, morning show, and late-night show. Orders for its new-recipe pizzas jumped so steeply it was three days away from a major pepperoni crisis. Eight years later, Domino's is the second biggest chain in the US and is stealing business from its pizza-slinging competitors. Domino's managed to turn its self-mockery into the swagger necessary to do things like create a fleet of electric delivery cars with built-in pizza ovens and allow customers to order a meal using nothing but emojis. Read the full story here.

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