- Domino's is launching a loyalty promotion on Feb. 2 that lets consumers redeem points for any pizzas they eat, including those served by competitors, the company announced in a news release. Those interested in participating can download the Domino's app and sign up for a Piece of the Pie Rewards program, which has integrated a new pizza identification feature.
- The artificial intelligence-powered software, developed internally at Domino's, scans images of pizza and will award points to users through April 28. After 60 points are accrued, customers can redeem a free medium two-topping pizza. The promotion rolls out ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday and includes a 30-second spot featuring CEO Ritch Allison, who has never previously appeared in a Domino's ad. The brand will not run a commercial during the big game.
- Dennis Maloney, Domino's chief digital officer, said in a statement that this is the first AI tech integration of its kind for Domino's, and that the scanner is smart enough to identify variants of pizza, including English muffin pizza, more artisanal pies or even a pizza-shaped dog toy. Domino's also claims the software will invalidate scans of any non-pizza items, such as hamburgers or sandwiches.
Since Pizza Hut is the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, Domino's is likely looking to steal some of its key rival's thunder and drive app downloads during the Super Bowl weekend, which is often one of the busiest periods of the year for U.S. pizza sales. The promotion is another example of the type of "hackvertising" that's become increasingly popular as marketers try to disrupt their competitors through savvy digital marketing plays, especially in sectors like fast food.
Beyond being a way to potentially capture interest for its loyalty offerings and app, the campaign sees Domino's continuing to build out a focus on forward-thinking mobile technology, an area where it's been a category leader. The brand has recently dabbled in the automation space, through voice ordering both on Amazon Alexa and through a proprietary assistant called "Dom" and also through pilots of self-driving delivery vehicles with Ford.
The pizza scanning feature might gain additional traction with users, however, because it provides a tangible takeaway for those interacting with it: points that can be redeemed for free pizza. Though the promotion only runs through April, it could also be a means for Domino's to lay out the groundwork for more robust AI-based visual identification offerings further down the line, since the technology tends to learn over time as it's applied more frequently and in more varied use cases.
Domino's taking a bite out of rivals around the Super Bowl and by tapping into its mobile strengths echoes other recent campaigns that have piqued consumer interest and earned media chatter. Burger King in December revamped its BK App around a "Whopper Detour" promotion that raised eyebrows. The stunt leveraged geofencing to send smartphone users within 600 feet of a McDonald's location an offer to buy a Whopper for just one penny.