Company boasts about new deal, but is caught out in the domino effect

It was a "game changer", but perhaps not in the way Domino's Pizza would have liked.

It was a "game changer", but perhaps not in the way Domino's Pizza would have liked.

The Australian pizza chain became the latest brand to fall foul of netizens, after its week-long social media campaign about a major revamp was revealed to be the introduction of new premium toppings and square bases.

"Get ready for our biggest announcement in 20 years #gamechanger," a banner on Domino's Facebook page said. "You've demanded change and we've pushed ourselves to respond," chief executive Don Meij said.

But the response on social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube was less enthusiastic about the promotion, which will be officially launched today.

"You had us on the edge of our seats for this?" one Facebook user wrote on the company's page.

"This is not a game changer, what a waste of my time," another wrote. Others complained that their comments were deleted.

On YouTube, the commentary from users about their disappointment with the hype were just as crusty.

"Really? That's it? After 20 years, that's the biggest announcement you have to make?" one viewer wrote.

James Griffin, of consultancy SR7, said the game changer was the way in which social media now gave consumers an opportunity to respond publicly and directly to brand campaigns.

While Domino's announcement could have worked well as a physical or traditional marketing campaign, "there's been a shift in the way consumers now interact with brands", he said.

"When you involve social media, you're allowing the consumer to talk back, and you simply can't manage or manufacture what the consumers are going to say. So there's a degree of risk in any modern marketing campaign when it comes to social media."

Phil McDonald, the Brisbane managing director of advertising agency George Patterson Y&R, said the fallout was another example of the consumer being in control. "Marketers own the brand but they aren't always in control," he said. "When you're in control, you can run the traditional teaser campaign and things that interest you are going to be more relevant, but when the consumer's in control, that's not the case.

"If you are going to tell consumers that you are going to do something really good in this day and age, their expectations are high and when you don't meet the expectations ... you're going to get negative fallout very quickly."

Want access to our latest research and new buy ideas?

Start a free 15 day trial and gain access to our research, recommendations and market-beating model portfolios.

Sign up for free