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Domino's Pizza, Undressed

Franchise Direct is about to publish its latest franchise report, a second investigation of the pizza industry.

We’ll be blogging more about the 2010 pizza franchise report next week. It’s a very thorough examination of the pizza franchise industry, and specifically provides an interesting perspective on the evolution of Domino’s Pizza. As we’ve blogged before, Domino’s has begun to deconstruct its image this year. They’ve changed their pizza recipe and publically admitted that their previous pizza wasn't tasty enough.

With pizza on our minds, we were hugely interested to see the latest step in their evolving marketing position: the “Show Us Your Pizza” campaign. The pizza franchise is asking their customers to upload photos of their just-delivered Domino’s pie. They don’t want anything photoshopped or airbrushed. Just pizza straight out of the box (or in the box, if you prefer). Domino’s will award $500 to four of the entrants. We wouldn't recommend viewing the site on an empty stomach. There's a whole lot of pizza there to make you hungry.

In conjunction with this campaign, Domino’s have vowed that they will never doctor any official photographs of their pizza and that the only people who will photograph their pizzas will be employees trained in making their pizza by hand.

It’s a pretty radical step in pizza marketing and Chief Marketing Officer Russel Weiman believes it will change food photography and marketing forever. Their belief is that if the real thing doesn’t make your mouth water, why bother? The implicit message is that all of Domino’s competitors manipulate the images of their pizza to make it look tastier, while with Domino’s, you’re looking at the real deal. Brandweek are calling it the “Real Beauty” campaign of pizza.

Now whether or not customers see it that way is another thing entirely. But Domino’s is undergoing a massive effort to change the way the public thinks of its product, and this campaign marks an even braver step. It will be interesting to see how pizza eaters respond.

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