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!
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.