Pizza executives said the chain had success with this month's “DomiNoNo” promotion, which resulted in two major giveaways that were nearly back-to-back.
Announced shortly after Major League Baseball's Opening Day, the promotion offered a free two-topping, medium Handmade Pan Pizza to the first 10,000 subscribers to MLB.tv — the baseball league’s web-streaming service where fans can watch all 162 games — who registered at a special website following a no-hitter.
The chain of nearly 5,000 stores in the United States said at the outset that it would do the giveaway after the first two no-hitters of the baseball season. The first no-hitters happened within 10 days of each other, on July 3 courtesy of Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey and July 13 thanks to San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum.
“The promotion was a lot of fun, and we considered it a win all around for the people at MLB.com, Domino’s and baseball fans,” said Chris Brandon, spokesman for Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s. “It seemed like one of those things that was a creative fit for all sides involved, and we hope a bunch of fans enjoyed a bunch of pizza.”
The offer was activated for the five days following each of the no-hitters, or until the 10,000 redemption codes were distributed. Brandon said the final redemption total was still being tallied, but he described the overall level of interest and redemption from MLB.tv users as in line with expectations.
Social-media impressions for Domino’s also increased dramatically during the first four months of the baseball season, he added, certainly during Bailey’s and Lincecum’s no-hitters but also during games in which other pitchers were close to pulling off the feat. Fans hoping for their pitchers to prevail — or just for free pizza — used the “#DomiNoNo” hashtag on Twitter to build awareness of the promotion.
“There was a lot of excitement as things got close, and lots of people were using the hashtag to discuss whether [the no-hitters] would actually happen,” Brandon said. “The anticipation starts building at around the fourth or fifth inning.”
A key feature of this social-marketing program is that fans interacted with Domino’s live, as the baseball game was played, which gave the brand the opportunity to drive real-time social media content.
“Baseball is unique because you have a lot more time to take advantage of that excitement,” Brandon said.
Domino’s has yet to determine whether redemptions spiked in its markets where the no-hitters occurred or whether they were more evenly spread throughout the system. However, Brandon conceded that the cap of 10,000 redemption codes for a brand with almost 5,000 domestic stores and an offer window of five days were developed to make the DomiNoNo doable for franchisees.
“As a system, we’ve had to get used to using redemption codes with promotions done with our online ordering,” Brandon said. “But we try to make it as easy as possible on the franchise operators.”
The Handmade Pan Pizza debuted last October for Domino’s and drove a 4.7-percent increase in fourth-quarter same-store sales, the chain reported. Domino’s officials said the pan pizza had a positive carry-over effect into the first quarter of 2013, even without heavy advertising, contributing to a 6.2-percent increase in same-store sales.
In the United States, Domino’s operates 388 company-owned restaurants and franchises another 4,535 stores. Its international system comprises 5,407 franchised locations in 70 countries.