Domino’s weird ads: A retrospective

Feces! Regurgitation! Rapping noodles! A look at the company's long and illustrious history of baffling commercials

Topics: Food Tube, Food,

Domino's weird ads: A retrospectiveYouTube screenshot

Earlier this week, Salon’s Sara Breselor interviewed Bryan Wansink about Domino’s sweetened new pizza recipe, a recipe that the company has been touting in a bizarre television ad that lists customer grievances (“Domino’s tastes like cardboard”) and soberly acknowledges that their problems are now a thing of the past. The “I sucked but now I don’t” strategy is a strange approach to pizza advertising, but, then again, Domino’s has an illustrious history of baffling (and even fecal-themed) ad campaigns. Don’t believe us? We’ve assembled some of the company’s most head-scratching ads below:

  • In 2006, Domino’s decided to sell its new line of “brownie squares” with dipping sauces by doing the following: 1. Dressing up a small person in a costume that looks like a giant turd. 2. Naming the turd “Fudgems.” 3. Having child hug Fudgems so that it comes away covered in what appears to be feces. Who wants a brownie?

  • The same year, it advertised its new line of Oreo pizzas (yes, really) with this ad showing a man and a teenager bantering about their respective chocolate mustaches. If the image of a man’s face covered in crap doing his best Bruce McCulloch impression won’t sell you on Domino’s, the awkward pedophilia vibe should do the trick.



  • The company’s ad for its Pasta Perfecta was pulled, supposedly because it includes an obscene gesture, but more likely because (surprise!) having a giant rapping noodle dressed like Flavor Flav terrify a white upper-middle-class family in their home has some rather unsavory racial implications (and, why did nobody notice that the noodle looks like a giant penis?).
    Dominos Pasta DUDE!

    DPZRAMON | MySpace Video
  • Domino’s concise Dutch slogan — “Man hungry, ding dong, pizza” — has a kind of  caveman flair, but this bizarre Dutch regurgitation-themed ad, in which a man disgorges the delivery man who’s just dropped off his pizza, reads less like a pizza commercial and more like an early episode of the “X-Files.”

  • In a similar vein, this ad for the company’s chocolate chip cookies touts their “homebaked” taste — in the most terrifying manner possible. If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if your adorable grandmother died and came back as a villain in a cookie-themed Japanese horror movie, here’s your answer.

 

Thomas Rogers

Thomas Rogers is Salon's former Arts Editor. He has written for the Globe & Mail, the Village Voice and other publications. He can be reached at @thomasmaxrogers.

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 22
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Talking Heads, 1977
    This was their first weekend as a foursome at CBGB’s, after adding Jerry Harrison, before they started recording the LP “Talking Heads: 77.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith, Bowery 1976
    Patti lit up by the Bowery streetlights. I tapped her on the shoulder, asked if I could do a picture, took two shots and everyone went back to what they were doing. 1/4 second at f/5.6 no tripod.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Blondie, 1977
    This was taken at the Punk Magazine Benefit show. According to Chris Stein (seated, on slide guitar), they were playing “Little Red Rooster.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    No Wave Punks, Bowery Summer 1978
    They were sitting just like this when I walked out of CBGB's. Me: “Don’t move” They didn’t. L to R: Harold Paris, Kristian Hoffman, Diego Cortez, Anya Phillips, Lydia Lunch, James Chance, Jim Sclavunos, Bradley Field, Liz Seidman.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell + Bob Quine, 1978
    Richard Hell and the Voidoids, playing CBGB's in 1978, with Richard’s peerless guitar player Robert Quine. Sorely missed, Quine died in 2004.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bathroom, 1977
    This photograph of mine was used to create the “replica” CBGB's bathroom in the Punk Couture show last summer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So I got into the Met with a bathroom photo.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Stiv Bators + Divine, 1978
    Stiv Bators, Divine and the Dead Boys at the Blitz Benefit show for injured Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977
    “The kids are all hopped up and ready to go…” View from the unique "side stage" at CBGB's that you had to walk past to get to the basement bathrooms.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Klaus Nomi, Christopher Parker, Jim Jarmusch – Bowery 1978
    Jarmusch was still in film school, Parker was starring in Jim’s first film "Permanent Vacation" and Klaus just appeared out of nowhere.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Hilly Kristal, Bowery 1977
    When I used to show people this picture of owner Hilly Kristal, they would ask me “Why did you photograph that guy? He’s not a punk!” Now they know why. None of these pictures would have existed without Hilly Kristal.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Dictators, Bowery 1976
    Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators with his girlfriend Jody. I took this shot as a thank you for him returning the wallet I’d lost the night before at CBGB's. He doesn’t like that I tell people he returned it with everything in it.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Alex Chilton, Bowery 1977
    We were on the median strip on the Bowery shooting what became a 45 single sleeve for Alex’s “Bangkok.” A drop of rain landed on the camera lens by accident. Definitely a lucky night!

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery view, 1977
    The view from across the Bowery in the summer of 1977.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ramones, 1977 – never before printed
    I loved shooting The Ramones. They would play two sets a night, four nights a week at CBGB's, and I’d be there for all of them. This shot is notable for Johnny playing a Strat, rather than his usual Mosrite. Maybe he’d just broken a string. Love that hair.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Richard Hell, Bowery 1977 – never before printed
    Richard exiting CBGB's with his guitar at 4am, about to step into a Bowery rainstorm. I’ve always printed the shots of him in the rain, but this one is a real standout to me now.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Patti Smith + Ronnie Spector, 1979
    May 24th – Bob Dylan Birthday show – Patti “invited” everyone at that night’s Palladium show on 14th Street down to CBGB's to celebrate Bob Dylan’s birthday. Here, Patti and Ronnie are doing “Be My Baby.”

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Legs McNeil, 1977
    Legs, ready for his close-up, near the front door of CBGB's.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Suicide, 1977
    Rev and Alan Vega – I thought Alan was going to hit me with that chain. This was the Punk Magazine Benefit show.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Ian Hunter and Fans, outside bathroom
    I always think of “All the Young Dudes” when I look at this shot. These fans had caught Ian Hunter in the CBGB's basement outside the bathrooms, and I just stepped in to record the moment.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Tommy Ramone, 1977
    Only at CBGB's could I have gotten this shot of Tommy Ramone seen through Johnny Ramones legs.

    Once upon a time on the Bowery

    Bowery 4am, 1977
    End of the night garbage run. Time to go home.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>