[tweetmeme] Domino’s Pizza are promoting their American Legend specialty pizzas. Indulge me: Think about American legends for a moment… Buzz Aldrin, Lincoln, Luther King? US soldiers fighting in far off lands? maybe the Harley Davidson? So who thought Clean Graffiti was a good way of enhancing the message?

Domino’s have gone bandwagon crazy by using the technique of spraying high-pressure water through a template on a dirty outdoor sidewalk/pavement to create a ‘clean’ image. It’s called clean graffiti – blogged here by inhabitat and here by us – and they’ve used it as a green/sustainable ad that will make them look good.

No sense

The problem is it doesn’t make any sense with the message they’re trying to promote. And it frustrates me that this is going bonkers over twitter with messages of congratulation.

I can’t tell you how many times marketing attempts without a good creative on board make similar mistakes.

Perfect example

So here’s how Clean Graffiti should be used: Paul Curtis aka “Moose” teamed up with the eco-cleaner brand GreenWorks to create a clean, green, 140 foot mural of trees, bushes and vegetation on the walls of San Francisco’s Broadway tunnel.
That’s the sort of brilliant irreducible thinking I’m talking about – the message and the execution are

bound together. It stood out when I was on the judging panel of the New York Festivals awards, and it stands out today.


Any improvement on the Domino’s execution will have to match the existing campaign’s credentials: no trees will be killed, paper printed or ink used. And the campaign is carbon negative, by compensating for 150% of their carbon footprint. They even invest in a water harvesting project for each liter of water they use.

With all that in mind, here’s how Domino’s could have done a more powerful campaign: The Domino’s tweets I picked up a few hours ago made me think about two of America’s most famous ‘legend’ that could have an environmental/sustainable angle: Mount Rushmore, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Idea 1

With the Mount Rushmore angle raise some money with every pizza sold to protect it, fake a picture of Domino’s Logo on the spare space/or the menu for the American Legend pizza, even run a campaign to get Obama put on it (too soon? yeah I thought so). But, however it’s executed make the protection of the Mount and surrounding area as your campaign’s objective and the whole thing adds value to the planet so you can claim green-ness. ( Notice how all the components pull in the same direction?).

Idea 2

A Hollywood Walk of Fame idea is a lit more throwaway but if the client was fixed on uing clean graffiti and the current incoherent thinking needed to be fixed I’d clean graffiti part of the Hollywood walk of stars on the sidewalk/pavement either side of a Domino’s shop, with the star outside the door containing the faked imprint of a pizza – you say something about Domino’s new pizza being a legend. Done.

And that’s after a few minutes thinking.

When a business blindly grabs an execution without thinking about the idea and the objectives they end up with an incoherent campaign. That much I know.

What I don’t know is, who came up with this rubbish?


Oliver Payne is author of the cognitive-behavioural communication book Inspiring Sustainable Behaviour: 19 Ways To Ask For Change published by Routledge,available in most countries on Amazon, etc, (options here), and you can download a sample of every chapter below:

Privacy Preference Center