Have you seen the new Domino’s ad? In what must be an unprecedented advertising move, Domino’s doesn’t just admit that its pizza is lacking, it rakes it over the coals, airing customer complaints comparing the crust to cardboard and the sauce to ketchup. Of course, the goal is in part to contrast that with the chain’s new recipe, but it’s also an ad designed to shock, and it delivers, writes Seth Stevenson for Slate.
Shock tactics are ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky’s stock in trade—they once made a pants commercial that involved wiping dog poop on people. "The brand had no pressing need to publicly kick itself in the ass," writes Stevenson, but Domino’s was willing to do whatever it took to draw attention to a new recipe it spent two years and tens of millions concocting—and it knew a simple "new and improved" spot wouldn't have done much of anything. “Google the words ‘new and improved,’ and I think you’ll get about 160 million hits,” Domino’s chief marketing officer tells Stevenson. “They’ve become wallpaper.”