Fast Food Ad Campaign Showdown: Domino’s Pizza v. Taco Bell

Both companies have unrolled new ad campaigns in which they explain why you should buy their product. I’m going to break it down for you to know which attempt to control your mind is more successful and why.

Domino’s Pizza: Our bad for decades of awful pizza

[![](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/01/dominosnoid250x309-242x300.jpg "dominosnoid250x309")](http://blog.stanfordreview.org/content/images/2010/01/dominosnoid250x309.jpg)
The Noid
Domino’s Pizza has been going around telling its customers, “Sorry for 50 years of terrible service. We’ll try to do a better job next half-century.” This certainly is a bold advertising strategy. They’ve launched a website called pizzaturnaround.com and put a [hilarious video](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH5R56jILag&feature=pyv&ad=3788231520&kw=dominos&gclid=CIT8_vG3rZ8CFRwTagodJTcW0w) on YouTube, which cataloged some of their failures according to their very own customers. A few gems: “Crust seemed lacking,” AND “Pizza was cardboard,” AND “Microwave pizza is far superior,” AND “Domino’s pizza crust, to me is like cardboard,” AND “Worst excuse for pizza I’ve ever had,” AND “The sauce tastes like ketchup,” AND “Totally void of flavor.” A PR flack lets us know that “The cardboard complaint is the most common one.”

This strikes me as a terrible idea, perhaps along the lines of Red Lobster’s ill-conceived Endless Crab promotion that led to a report that included this sentence:

“It wasn’t the second helping, it was the third one that hurt,” company chairman Joe R. Lee said in a conference call with analysts.

Note to Statistics majors: you may end up finding out why giving away unlimited crab is not a good idea. Just saying. Perhaps most damningly for Domino’s, though, is the fact that Stephen Colbert put them on blast (after the jump)

[The Colbert Report](http://www.colbertnation.com)Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
[Alpha Dog of the Week – Domino’s Pizza](http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/260771/january-06-2010/alpha-dog-of-the-week---domino-s-pizza) []()
[www.colbertnation.com](http://www.colbertnation.com/)
[Colbert Report Full Episodes](http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/full-episodes)[Political Humor](http://www.indecisionforever.com)[Economy](http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/258566/december-15-2009/prescott-financial-sells-gold--women---sheep)
****




![Taco Bell Chihuahua 1994-2009, RIP](http://img.perezhilton.com/content/images/2009/01/chihuahua__oPt.jpg "Taco Bell Chihuahua 1994-2009, RIP")
Taco Bell Chihuahua 1994-2009, RIP
**Taco Bell: You don’t have the self-control to give up fast food, and ours will make you slightly less fat**

Taco Bell has a new campaign, and it’s more along the lines of what you would expect of a food company trying to capitalize on still-fresh New Years’ Resolutions: our food will help you lose weight. See Christine Dougherty, who allegedly lost 54 pounds eating what a disclaimer below the screen proclaims is “Not a low calorie food.” Christine explains, “When I decided to trim down, I knew I had to be realistic with myself. I didn’t want to cut out my fast food so I started choosing Fresco items from the Drive-Thru Diet menu.” Then they show Christine in her swimsuit sitting among the tall grass, a lyme disease hazard! Have you been in any tall grass lately?

Their website, which gives you the option to send an motivational e-card to encourage your friends and loved ones to keep their Frescolutions is a touch difficult to navigate. Nevertheless, there is a lot going on. Also, one writer at the LA Times notes that the whole idea of “Fresco” being a legitimate stand-in for “healthy” is a bogus one, saying, “The most notable difference between the regular and the Fresco tacos is the replacement of cheese with salsa,” as well as pointing out the near-infinite quantity of disclaimers in the video posted above.

Verdict

This is a tough one: on one hand, Domino’s is ceding that they have been feeding customers a terrible product for 50 years, but on the other hand for every claim Taco Bell makes, there is an equal and opposite disclaim. Taco Bell also (partially) spawned this little ditty. On the whole, I have to give the edge to Domino’s. While their “Oh Yes We Did” campaign is self-consciously daring (and therefore not really daring at all), I want to encourage this type of advertising where companies broadcast the things people say about their awful products. When you add in the fact that they are feuding with Snooki from Jersey Shore, it’s a no-brainer: Domino’s wins!

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