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Domino's Pizza Facebook Havas

Domino’s on why online videos don't need to spark sales outright when they are created by social influencers


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

November 26, 2015 | 6 min read

Domino's is a company unafraid of leveraging the strengths of social media and digital platforms in its search for engagement online, as a result, The Drum caught up with Ariel King, group content strategist at its agency Arena Media, Havas MG, to find out how the brand utilises influencers.

Domino's, tasked with standing out against strong competition from Pizza Hut, Papa John's, Pizza Express and more, champions the content and reach of influencers as part of a multi-faceted strategy intent upon cementing the brand as the only option for those seeking a sneaky slice of ‘za in the UK.

Arena Media's King discussed the brand’s history of snapping up quirky brand ambassadors following its first tangle with a Facebook influencer – who conversely racked up almost five million video views in a single week (more on that later).

King stated that the brand's first major influencer gambit was a series of shortform entries from Vine stars Huw Samuel and Leslie Wai. On the partnership, which raked in hundreds of thousands of Vine loops, King admitted the content helped populate and drive traffic to the Domino's blog, a sub-section of the main Domino's site, which helped to boost its SEO.

Next, Arena’s content was centred around getting the public using the Pizza Legends platform – a new digital feature through which consumers can design, name and save their favourite pizzas.

For this, Youtube personalities Oli White (below), Rose & Rosie and Spencer & Alex were sent to Milton Keynes to engage in a pizza masterclass with a 'Domino's guru', underlining the power of personalisation.

Enriched with takeaways from the campaign, the next stage was an ambitious Facebook experiment – tasking a top influencer with executing a branded candid prank in the hopes it would go viral in support of Iris’ 'Only a Domino's will do' national TV ad, celebrating 30 years of Domino's in the UK.

On this objective, King admitted: “We decided to get a prankster and influencer. We found Cian Twomey, who works exclusively on Facebook. There is a growing trend of content being built only on Facebook.”

Twomey, who has over three million Likes (or followers) on Facebook, accumulated millions of views with the sponsored prank video in which his girlfriend Emily is the butt of the joke that was shared on 13 November.

She had the misfortune of asking for “just cheese” during a Domino's order. Lo and behold, Emily was landed with a box of cheese in a stunt which clearly connected with viewers.

Emily didn’t get the cheat meal she wanted Domino's Pizza UK #ad

Posted by Mr Cian Twomey on Friday, 13 November 2015

Influencers are very much integral component of Arena's Domino's playbook. “Facebook is becoming a space where video can flourish, influencers are becoming more relevant,” said King, adding however that “the platform will vary based on the brief”.

“[The Vine content] was really good for tactical campaigns, in short bursts, but once the week passes the momentum ends."

YouTube on the other hand is more likely to deliver a longer lasting discourse as views continue to climb long after the publishing date, a benefit which makes it the more favourable content medium during lengthy campaigns.

Meanwhile, Facebook remains the elephant in the room, King admitted, despite the prank video's admirable performance, the long-term draw of the Cian Twomey gag remains to be seen. Arena will silently hope that the ad maintains the momentum it accumulated on launch... but only time will tell.

Buoyed by Facebook's video autoplay feature (which can inflate viewing numbers upon YouTube comparisons), King was proud of the uncharacteristically high view completion rate of around one million viewers.

Tasked with building the narrative around the brand with partnerships, media buys and interesting content, King admitted: “It’s always good to link [what we do] to eventual sales figures if possible but most of our goals do not have to tie back to a specific ROI.”

“We’re lucky with Domino’s, there’s a trust that content isn’t necessarily the last click. They can see the incremental benefit of engaging content. The fact that it tied into the national TV campaign had people really buying into it.”

She concluded: “You can’t put a tracking link in a video and see where viewers go afterwards so our content has to be part of the bigger picture... the value has to be seen from any uplift or additional traffic or engagement that you have.”

Domino's Pizza Facebook Havas

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