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Over the years, American pizza restaurant chain Domino’s has come up with several smart marketing strategies to create brand awareness and increase sales. These include dispatching a delivery robot, allowing customers to place an order with a pizza emoji tweet, and launching a “Tummy Translator” app that offered food recommendations based on the customer’s stomach rumbles. For its latest campaign, “Paving for Pizza,” the company is taking on a pressing problem – America’s cracked and pothole-ridden roads.
Over the course of 2018, Domino’s will dispense gifts of $5,000 towards street repairs in 20 towns around the country. The locations are randomly selected from the thousands nominated by customers on the specially created “Paving for Pizza” website. While the town’s local public works officials can use the funds to fix an entire stretch of highway or to fill annoying potholes around the area, all grantees have to follow certain conditions. These include providing the company with before and after photographs of the dilapidated road, completing the repairs within a specified period of time, and spray painting the patched area with the Domino's logo and the words, “Oh Yes We Did.”
Milford, Delaware city manager Eric Norenberg, who used the grant money to repair 40 potholes, is thrilled at his town being one of the first areas to be selected for the campaign. He asserts, “It didn’t pay for everything, but it certainly was a nice help.” Drew Raessler from Athens, Georgia, also a pilot city for the program, concurs. The director of transportation and public works department, who used the funds to patch a high traffic stretch of road, said the free cash from the pizza giant was much appreciated and provided an “opportunity to do some good within the community.”
While fixing infrastructure may sound like a deviation from the company’s core business, Russell Weiner says it’s still all about the pizza. The president of Domino’s USA quips, “We don't want to lose any great-tasting pizza to a pothole, ruining a wonderful meal. Domino's cares too much about its customers and pizza to let that happen."
The pizza chain is not the only private enterprise trying to solve public-service issues that are traditionally the realm of government agencies. In March 2018, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, donated $3 million, half from his personal funds, towards ending family homelessness in San Francisco. The actions of the large corporations like these will hopefully encourage other businesses to devise marketing strategies with an altruistic twist.
Resources: citylab.com, pavingforpizza.com, philly.com