What have we been saying? In today's advertising and marketing, TRUTH SELLS. Here's one more great example. Domino's profits have just reached an all-time industry mark due to their radically transparent “Oh Yes We Did” campaign about their pizza being, to put it lightly, less-than-the-best.
Domino's ran commercials and print ads admitting its old pizza sucked. It then introduced a new recipe by showing it to its staunchest critics. It continued the transparency theme by encouraging customers to alert Domino's when the pizzas they ordered were not up to par. With today's instant media exposure thanks to Flips, G4 iPhones and good old fashioned video cameras, you can imagine how many Domino's Pizza haters uploaded their less-than-par pizzas to YouTube.
Russell Weiner, Domino's CEO at the time the campaign launched, said he was pretty scared but still willing to risk the company's reputation. “You're a 50-year-old pizza company with 5,000 stores out there, these guys first tell you to go on air and say your pizza sucks, and then go out there and show how crappy it's made,” he said. You wonder if Russell Weiner would have ta
ken such a risk if he were not planning on leaving soon after the campaign launched. But after all, whatever happened with the campaign – and the company – would be his legacy, too. Lucky for everyone, it was working well enough that incoming CEO, Patrick Doyle, continued to support the effort with equal gusto.
How does one of a million “New and Improved” campaigns that today's consumers are numb to have such dramatic success? By shocking people with its honesty and transparency that exposed Domino's humility and possibility of failure. Patrick Doyle admitted that, if they fail at this endeavor, it could most likely be the end of Domino's. Year-to-date, same store sales just exceeded 12%. That's a new record in the pizza business.
Look at your company. Are you even capable of being transparent? If so, are you willing to market your company as flawed, but humble and honest? Most business owners reading this think we're crazy. But remember, people don't trust most advertisements. If you can't get your message past this initially huge roadblock, maybe you're wasting your money advertising. If, on the other hand, you're willing to offer your customers some radical transparency, you've at least got a shot at breaking through that tough core of consumer mistrust. And when consumers trust you, they become your advocates.
Are you willing to at least think about what it would take? It might not be as scary as it sounds. It's the way things are going, and getting there first while doing it right could mean an awfully big increase in market share. Something to ponder, eh?