Domino’s and Cause Marketing: Paving for Pizza

Domino’s is Fixing Potholes Now, And We Love it

Citizens of Bartonville, TX may have noticed a new fixture on their neighborhood streets: filled potholes. Eight of them, in fact, all of of them branded with the Domino’s Pizza name. Milford, DE residents can find 40. Residents of Athens, GA can find a whopping 150 branded, filled potholes.

The Ann Arbor-based fast food franchise announced in June that it has partnered with local governments to help repair their wrecked roads. “Potholes, cracks, and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza,” says Domino’s. “So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads.” Using a little GoPro magic, they’ve even got an interactive video on the project’s home page, Paving for Pizza, showing the various levels of damage a pizza can take on due to the effects of potholes. The company says its infrastructure grants—$5,000 donated to up to 20 locations across the U.S. throughout the year—is its way of “saving pizza, one pothole at a time.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. According to Trip, a national transportation research group, 37% of American roads are in a state of disrepair. Damaged roads cost American drivers more than $100 billion each year. To put that in another perspective, Americans also spent about $32 billion on pizza last year. So, if Domino’s could fill even a fraction of those potholes, they’re opening up to a lot of potential dough left on the table. (Sorry for the pun. I know it was cheesy.)

Marketing with Purpose

It’s a slam dunk from a cause marketing perspective. The one-of-a-kind marketing campaign from Domino’s serves the dual purpose of bettering society while increasing brand awareness and profitability. It’s an extremely clever way for the company to show its customers—current and prospective—that it has a social conscious.

Cause marketing—and companies following through on their promises—is the kind of visionary social responsibility we at IDealogic® Brand Lab love to see. It’s the perfect example of a win-win-win scenario for customers, businesses, and society as a whole. By aligning with a cause—even something like repairing potholes—brands can engage a broad audience on a deeper level by communicating to them in a real, human way. That kind of sincerity builds trust, credibility, and meaningful relationships between companies and people. Ultimately, everyone wins.

“Cause alignment, like what Domino’s is doing here, allows brands to get more exposure from earned media than they could ever pay for. It’s all about appealing to the human, not the transaction. It’s Brand to Human® in action. We guide our client partners using the same methodology—and getting the same results—as these big corporations.”

Ron Netanel, CVO, IDealogic® Brand Lab

First and foremost, companies must make a profit; however, to become truly significant, they must be socially aware. Consumers are holding companies accountable for a social conscience—and human conscience. They expect companies to use their considerable resources to better the societies that support them.

It’s not enough, however, for brands to simply say they support a cause. They have to show it. And Domino’s has absolutely shown that they’re committed to following through on their plans to create a safer transportation infrastructure for drivers (and pizzas) across the country. They’ve already filled 200 potholes in four cities, and they still have a full five months before the year is out. And in return for their investment, Domino’s is enjoying a huge surge in earned media from the increased coverage.

If you’re tired of driving around potholes in your neighborhood, Domino’s has included a link to nominate your town for the grant.

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