My Favorite Advertisement Ever

by Kevin Berry

It’s not easy to admit that you sucked, and it’s quite another to be successful admitting it. A little over 10 years ago, Domino’s Pizza admitted their pitfalls and agreed with their critics. What came out of it was my favorite advertisement ever.

A slice of pepperoni pizza next to a slice of cardboard with pepperonis and a crust drawn onto it with marker. Above the pizza it reads "The crust tastes like cardboard"

It was the end of 2009 and Domino’s wasn’t even considered to be an option when ordering pizza for me. There were other good national competitors and local pizza shops that always got my business. That all changed with the “Oh Yes We Did” ad campaign.

Above: “Domino’s® Pizza Turnaround” is a 4-minute documentary that summarizes the criticism that led to the “Oh Yes We Did” campaign and Domino’s changing their recipe.

It’s not often that admitting your product “tastes like cardboard” is a good thing, but they agreed with their critics and made a shift. As a consumer, this shift was interesting to me— was their new pizza actually good? Shortly after seeing that ad, I ordered a pizza from Domino’s, which is something I hadn’t done in a very long time. And you know what, it was good! I’m sure many others gave them a try because of that ad. They brought in customers who never considered them before.

What has Domino’s accomplished since that drastic shift? For one, their stock shares raised from $11 to around $260 a share at the start of 2019. That’s an enormous amount of growth and one can tie their branding shift as a cause for their success.

The moral of the story is: If you’re falling behind and have room to improve, own it! They took a big bet on themselves to have the confidence to spend millions on ads saying they improved. Take a look around— the thing you suck at now could be your biggest opportunity for success.