Incentivising someone to buy your competitors’ food might not sound like a great business model. It’s probably the last thing you’d expect to hear from any business school worth its salt. But, in defiance of all logic and everything that we thought we knew about the food industry, Domino’s pizza have decided to do just that. If they insist, who are we to refuse?
It might look like the multinational pizza giants are trying to commit doughy harakiri, but there is method in the madness. The new plan is part of Domino’s brand new “Points for Pies” promotion, run online through the business’ app. Throughout the duration of the offer, customers will be able to photograph and scan any pizza, and be rewarded with points. Collect enough points, and customers will then be able to claim a free, two-topping, medium pie from Domino’s themselves.
Somewhat surprisingly, when the franchise say “any pizza”, they really do mean any pizza. In a slick-looking commercial for the promotion, Domino’s CEO Ritch Allison explains that anything from home cooked pizza bagels, to burnt oven pizza, to a squeaky pizza dog toy is going to be accepted. Photographs from any rival chain, selling any form of everyone’s favourite loaded bread-based fast food, will also be allowed. The app will allegedly employ advanced AI to identify what is pizza - “the first time Domino's is using...technology like this,” according to Domino's chief digital officer, Dennis Maloney.
Each accepted photograph will award the user with 10 “Pie Points”. Once 60 points have been reached, you can claim your free pizza. For the duration of the promotion, other Domino’s products will also contribute towards a customer’s overall tally, meaning that the magical 60 mark can be reached incredibly quickly, if you’re prepared to push your daily pizza intake way beyond what would normally be considered socially acceptable.
Despite what looks on the surface like a massive pizza free-for-all, there are a few limitations to the offer. For instance, there are only a limited number of points made available every day, though the total will refresh every 24 hours. Domino’s have stated that they have set aside 100 million points for pizza loving customers, so there should be plenty to go around. The business have also made it clear that there will be a maximum of 60 points per customer, so no luck loading extraneous pizza posts for free pizza, forever.
In order to get in on the action, customers will need to set up their own rewards account with Domino’s and have the app installed on their smartphone. Entrants will be accepted between February 2nd to April 28th, though any points accrued during this time frame will remain valid for up to six months after they were received.
Even given the long history of extravagant fast food publicity stunts, this new campaign seems to be taking the industry into new territory. Regardless of your pizza preferences, such an easy opportunity for free food almost feels too good to pass up. Whether it sparks a new wave of pie marketing remains to be seen.