Avoid the Noid, Round Two
Mascots are generally likeable characters. Familiar faces like Tony the Tiger and Ronald McDonald often hold a nostalgically happy place in the memories of most Americans.
But let’s be honest – who ever really liked the Noid?
Domino’s Pizza’s short-lived, floppy-eared mascot is making a present-day comeback after a retirement that’s lasted for 23 years. The popular pizza chain is using the Noid to promote an online game on Facebook, stylized to resemble an arcade game from the 1980s, in which users with the high score can win a free pizza every minute.
Domino’s recently garnered a lot of attention for its brutally honest television commercials that aired nationally during the last year and a half, in which the company promised to reinvent itself as a pizza chain. The ads featured consumers openly complaining about the company’s pizza products, followed by various Domino’s chefs and supervisors who demonstrated how they had improved their pizzas with better ingredients and techniques. The campaign proved successful, as Domino’s experienced a historic quarterly gain in the following year.
It’s strange, then, that Domino’s would revive a long-forgotten mascot at the height of its own revival. The T.V. campaign was successful in re-branding Domino’s from a mediocre fast-food restaurant that makes “pizza that tastes like cardboard,” into an honest, committed company that goes to great lengths to listen to the concerns of its customers.
So why hearken back to a time where there was no glory – when all Domino’s had to distinguish itself as a pizza brand was a cackling little man in a red jumpsuit? After all, the Noid was intended to be an annoying creature that represented other pizza competitors; ironically, it became known as the Domino’s mascot instead.
The online promotion is clearly trying to cash in on a blast-from-the-past moment with the 1980s-themed novelties. However, Domino’s should think critically about how it wants to brand itself from here onwards. The company has made remarkable strides in less than two years’ time in reestablishing itself as a reputable pizza brand, and it needs to continue that momentum instead of interrupting it so abruptly.
One can only hope that, when the promotion is over, the Noid will hop back its way back into the past where it belongs.
Contributed by Allison Meeks