You tell me. Read the article below and decide for yourself.
GOOF COST DOMINO’S 11,000 PIZZAS
Stumbled-upon online ‘bailout’ promotion
turns into pizza-palooza
CINCINNATI – “Bailout” was the magic word as Domino’s had to give away thousands of free pizzas because someone stumbled on an online promotion the company scrapped.
Free pizza deal was tasty accident; Domino’s honors a giveaway it really didn’t intend to offer
Michelle Imsicke isn’t one to turn down free food.
Still, an offer from Domino’s Pizza for a free medium pie did make her pause for a moment – but only a moment.
“I heard of them doing things like this, giving discounts, but a free one shocked me,” said Imsicke, 38, of Harrison. “But I said, ‘If they are doing it, I’m going to grab one.'”
Imsicke got her free pizza, as did many others throughout Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky this week. But no one should have.
In December, Domino’s created an online-only promotion for a free pizza using the codeword “bailout,” but it never got the green light, said Tim McIntyre, Domino’s vice president of communications. “It had never technically been activated, but we hadn’t turned it off, either.”
Monday night, an “enterprising customer” discovered the deal (by apparently typing “bailout” into a Domino’s promo code window and found out it was good for a free medium pizza) and spread it on the Internet, McIntyre said. By the time it was shut down at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, nearly 11,000 pizzas were given away.
“I started getting calls at about 10 a.m. from managers asking what was going on. I said I had no idea,” said John Glass, owner of 14 Domino’s franchises in the region. “I called corporate, they had no idea at the time. No one seemed to have any idea, everyone was scrambling. It all kind of snowballed.”
Glass thinks he was hit harder than anyone else in the area, since he owns all the Domino’s near college campuses. In total, he thinks he gave away 600 to 700 pizzas.
Corporate promises to reimburse every store.
Local coupon guru Heather Tenney of www.littlemissknowitall.net, Cincinnati’s top coupon site, wasn’t surprised. She believes the promotion was first discovered around 8:30 p.m. Monday at www.slickdeals.net, and it would have come here instantly.
“Something like that would go viral very quickly and Cincinnati is very quick on the deals spectrum,” she said. “Cincinnati is just one of those cities where people don’t mind using coupons.”
There could be a silver lining, Glass said. He’s hoping, in addition to the publicity Domino’s basked in Tuesday, it also gave customers a chance to experience the relatively new online ordering system.
It might have worked.
“When I was working full time, we ordered online at LaRosa’s. You had to go through more hoops to order a pizza,” Imsicke said. “This was a lot faster, a lot easier.”
Domino’s is unlucky – or lucky, depending on the way it’s viewed – the whole thing didn’t happen Wednesday, said Catherine Deaton, 33, of Fort Wright, who happily fed her kids free pizza Tuesday.
“I would have thought it was an April Fool’s joke,” she said.
Dominos set up a free pizza password at their website.
A BLOGGER found out, shared the info, and a few hours later…
11,000 free pizzas were given away.
Word spread fast enough in ONE NIGHT for Domino’s to end up giving away THOUSANDS of FREE pizzas – costing the company, oh, about $100,000.
ALL BECAUSE SOMEONE “STUMBLED” ACROSS AN ONLINE PROMOTION.
CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW HIGH THE NUMBER COULD HAVE GONE IF THE COUPON HAD ACTUALLY BEEN “PROMOTED” ON THE INTERNET?
So, Does the Internet Really Work?
Call the Marketing Dept at Domino’s and ask them the $100,000 Question!
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.