Saturday, March 20, 2010

Better pizza, bigger annoyance

I'm sure you've seen the ads that Domino's has been running recently, in which they show focus groups talking about how shitty their pizza is, and then they go back to those same people and go, "Hey, we fixed it! Do you love us now?" And those people are like, "Yeah, this pizza is now totally great!" Although at least some of them basically admitted that they might not have been so critical had they known Domino's was actually going to look at the video, and so maybe they're just saying it's great because they're ON FUCKING TELEVISION THIS TIME but whatever. Maybe it's great now. (If you haven't seen the ads, they were mostly chopped down out of this big fucker.)

I'm just saying: if you've just run an ad campaign talking about how your pizza was super terrible to the point that you had to completely fix the recipe, I'm not sure I'd make this my next move.

Domino's Chef: "For years, Papa John's has been telling us they have 'Better ingredients, better pizza. But when challenged in this court, they stated their slogan is 'puffery.'"

Yeah, uh, question for the pizza chef. Are you telling me that Domino's actually took Papa John's to motherfucking court over the wording of their slogan? Because that seems like some kind of ridiculous bullshit.

Chef: "What's puffery? Scott, you're a lawyer."
Scott: "Puffery: 'An exaggerated statement based on opinion. Not fact.'"
Chef: [shrugs dramatically]

Look, if you want to be all serious about this, it's very easy to argue that "better" is ill-defined and that Papa John's is not necessarily claiming to be literally better - whatever that would entail - than other pizza chains. But also, during the "years" when Papa John's was claiming this, Domino's pizza was apparently complete shit. You guys just ran ads telling us how your pizza used to be awful, and apparently you only fixed it in December. Are you mad because Papa John's didn't change their slogan immediately after you changed your recipe? Because it doesn't seem like there's any real impetus on them to do that. Unless you took them to court over it like total douchebags. (And if you didn't really take them to court and you're just saying that to make a more "interesting" commercial... well, that's just puffery, my friends.)

Chef: "Here's what's not puffery. Our new hand-tossed sausage, extra cheese and pepperoni pizzas just beat Papa John's in a national taste test."

Okay, good for you, but again, I'm assuming this just happened since your new pizza is still, you know, new. So what were you criticizing them for? This is like if after Barack Obama was inaugurated, he made some speech that was like, "For years we've heard George Bush give speeches like he was the president. But I just checked and it turns out I'm the president right now! George Bush should stop calling himself the president." And then everyone would have been like, "Wow, we just elected the dumbest man alive." Honestly, Domino's, do you just have no concept of time passing? Is your ad agency run by dogs? What is happening here?"

Chef: "Our pizzas taste better and that's not puffery. That's proven."

I mean, I guess. You'll forgive me if I don't necessarily take a bunch of nobodies' opinions on the taste of pizza as some sort of gospel truth. Also, see everything I already wrote, you stupid asshole. Does Domino's really think that behaving like some nitpicky douchebags is going to win them any friends? Do they think that people take advertising slogans so seriously that this was in any way needed? Are there people who would actually be like, "I don't know, Domino's, you say this new pizza of yours is good, but I just saw a Papa John's ad and they specifically said, 'Better pizza.' So, whatever, that clearly must be true." Because if there are, I'm really afraid.


Anonymous said...

Does being so obnoxious and smug really sell pizzas....or anything?

Anonymous said...

From what I saw on Domino's website, they cited a case from 2000 when Pizza Hut took Papa John's to court over the slogan. Domino's even provided a PDF with the entire transcript.

Still reeks of desperation on Domino's part. Papa John's must be out-selling them to resort to this tactic.

Akamar said...

Seriously? Food companies exaggerate how good their food is? Is that allowed?

capewood said...

Along the same lines as the Domino's ads are the ads for Windows 7 where ordinary people take credit for single handily fixing Windows. Clearly the dopes at Microsoft couldn't fix Windows. It was up to ordinary Americans to take charge.