advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

What would cheeses do? Zig when others zag.

What Would Cheeses Do is part of Domino’s Pizza Proverbs, and before this either becomes an incident involving the religious right or another forgotten punfest, imma chime in. Religion’s a tricky thing man. It’s one of the few things you do not fuck with in advertising unless it’s with the utmost reverence. At best, poking fun is limited to subtle mentions alluding to God without ever actually saying his or her name. Generally, copy like “Heavenly taste” is about as good as it gets, if that. While I actually love having fun with the fervor over religiousity in this country, I wonder if this is Domino’s and Crispin zigging again when everyone is zagging.

Crispin has the brand in a sales sweet spot now, this groove where everything they do moves the needle while Pizza Hut tries to keep up. Why would you all of a sudden fuck with God? It’s too punny and undermines the honest, real *voice* they’ve established with the new recipes and meeting people campaigns. Cheetos and Chester’s Orange Underground? They could get away with this because it fits their vibe. I doubt though that Crispin’s other client Kraft would allow that type of wordplay on Mac and Cheese.

Having said that, they’re not the first to walk on these waters. Hebrew National hot dogs lived off of a religious connection for years. So the only two reasons you zig like this are that you either underestimated the fallout, or you knew and just wanted to throw people off based on what they expected from you.

Religion not only polarizes, it’s good for traffic, something Crispin knows how to create. I may be reading into this way too much with either of those explanations, but are pizza and hot dogs the places where you want to test the religious tolerance of the country?



Jetpacks said...

Bad move. Backfire countdown commencing in 3, 2,...

You can get away with Kenny Powers swearing up a storm in support of K-Swiss. You can get away with brutal slapstick that focuses on crotches, but when you start down this road, you've WAY underestimated how seriously people take their faith.

No one will be issuing a fatwa on Domino's, but the boycotts are in the works as we speak.

What makes this doubly odd is that Domino's has been boycotted by the left in recent years for its support of pro-life causes.

Just plain stupid all around.

HighJive said...

Domino's founder has always been a borderline religious fanatic.

Anonymous said...


I work with Domino’s and just wanted to make sure you are aware that Tom Monaghan sold Domino’s 11 years ago, and he no longer has any involvement whatsoever with the company.
Good summary of the company’s independence from him here:

Jetpacks said...

OK, I have to backtrack - I thought "What Would Cheeses Do?" was somehow part of the official campaign name when its only one of many proverbs submitted by fans. Damn you, Bill for misleading me! May a millstone be hung upon your neck and you be cast in the deepest of seas!

There is no harm in this, I'm fairly sure. I doubt the American Family Council will care much if any.

mtlb said...

@Jetpacks - Don’t toss that rage out just yet. This is very much a Domino’s thing, not the work of one lone comment. Read the quotes attributed to the brand as well as everyone riffing with an overall religious meaning, simply based on the use of the word ‘proverb.’

“Give a man a pizza and he’ll eat for a day. Teach him to order online and he’ll eat for a lifetime.”- Domino’s”

Seems like a Bible ref to me.