In April, pizza purveyor Domino’s launched a line of “artisan” pies to reposition the company as slightly more chic, with an emphasis on its quality ingredients. During that month, So Good reviewed one of these specialty pizzas, with decent results.

The marketing campaign around these new offerings feature the tag line, “No is the new Yes.” This means that customers cannot add additional toppings, just the ones designed for the pizza (you can have toppings taken off, though). The concept here is to turn the tables on the “customer is always right”/“you’re way, right away” model, with a more elitist, “we know what’s good for you” approach. Not a terrible overall idea, mind you… in theory.

However, what was not anticipated by Domino’s was the strong reaction the campaign has produced from people who compare the slogan to a manipulation of the anti-rape message, “No means no.” This is clearly tricky territory for the brand, and begs the question if there were enough women in the room when this tactic was fully vetted.

Due to volatile nature of the comparison, I’m not sure how Domino’s can move forward with this slogan. I know people are far too sensitive these days, especially in light of the level of empowerment produced by social media. Yet, I don’t think this is a case of oversensitivity, just a company being tone deaf to the spectrum of their audience.

Domino’s needs to be doing all the little things better than the competition if they want to remain relevant – because it likely will not be the quality of their pizza that keeps them at or near the top.

What do you think? Is this a case of over-sensitivity, or poor messaging?

H/t to Huffington Post/Food for the top picture.

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2 Responses

  1. Cameron

    Before I even read the article (I only saw part of the headline in Google Reader), I thought they couldn’t be serious—I associated it with the anti-rape slogan, too.

    I’m not a feminist (pretty much the opposite), I’m not offended, but it was a incredibly poor marketing decision.

  2. Sam

    I never associated this slogan with the anti-rape message myself. It doesn’t offend me, but I could see how it might genuinely offend others more involved in the feminist movement. It is true that people are too sensitive these days. But when your job is to appeal to the lowest common denominator, you don’t have a whole lot of license to go around complaining about how sensitive people are.


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