The Update: Domino’s talks YouTube and transformation over (very) hot wings
In this episode of The Update, Domino’s CMO Art D’Elia and VP of Media and Innovation Christopher Thomas-Moore join YouTube Creator and First we Feast's “Hot Ones” Host Sean Evans to talk about how the shift to digital transformed everything — from product development to media planning.
Watch more First we Feast Content here.
SEAN EVANS: Hey, what’s going on, everybody.
For First We Feast, I’m Sean Evans, host of Hot Ones,
the show with hot questions and even hotter wings.
On this episode of The Update, I’m joined by Domino’s CMO Art D’Elia
and Domino’s Vice President of Media Christopher Thomas-Moore
to talk about driving awareness on YouTube.
SEAN: The good thing is we start off with baby steps.
This first one is The Classic Garlic Fresno Edition.
It’s the first sauce that we use on the show.
ART D’ELIA: I agree. Not too bad.
CHRISTOPHER THOMAS-MOORE: Okay, okay.
SEAN: Okay, so let’s dive into the Domino’s story.
Most people watching are probably like me. They think it’s Domino’s. It’s pizza.
But, Art, I’ve seen you describe Domino’s as a tech company that
happens to sell pizza, wings, and other items. Can you tell us how you got there?
ART: Yeah, I’d start with how we think about pizza. We think pizza is magic.
And then about ten years ago, we realized part of the magic was to make it easier to order.
Pizza is about convenience. And that’s really where technology came into play is
how we could, you know, allow people with zero clicks or on any platform
to be able to order pizza when they’re hungry.
SEAN: You heard it here first.
Are you guys ready to move on down the line?
This next one is the Seafire Gourmet Reaper. It’s gonna have, like a really,
like you’re going to really taste the burnt chili in this one.
It’s gonna taste like a campfire, kind of.
ART: This one I got to get mentally prepared for.
CHRISTOPHER: The label on this is so scary.
SEAN: So, about five years ago, we made the decision to launch our show on YouTube,
which is basically out of necessity, but a charming by-product of all that
is it’s allowed us to reach this massive and highly accessible audience.
What do you see is the opportunity for your brand on YouTube?
CHRISTOPHER: YouTube provided that ability to scale and drive reach.
And we were able to capture audiences that we otherwise were not capturing in traditional TV.
And we saw that there was incrementality especially
within younger demographics within this program.
If some of the audiences that we were pulling through this YouTube campaign
versus what we were seeing in the rest of our media mix.
YouTube is a little different in the sense of people think digital videos,
high funnel brand awareness activity.
And for us, we treat it very much like any of our other DR products and programs
where we were expecting a healthy return on that investment.
SEAN: Alright, guys, this is The Last Dab.
We call it The Last Dab because it’s tradition on Hot Ones to put a little extra on the last wing.
You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but we have come this far.
ART: That doesn't wait to build. That smacks you right out of the gate.
CHRISTOPHER: Woo. Wooooo.
ART: Now I know why this was the last one.
SEAN: Save the best for last, always. But here’s the thing.
We’re at the end of our spicy food journey. We’ve hit on a lot of different things,
but there’s only one thing to leave it on and that’s this:
you’d be hard-pressed to find a business, a media company,
anything that hasn’t had to shift how they do things in the new world.
What does that look like for your business?
ART: Like everyone, we had to move really fast when we were facing this crisis,
and you know, for us, that first meant
how do we protect our employees and how do we protect our customers.
And very quickly, you know, we had to come up with ways
that we could safely deliver food and find ways for customers
to safely pick up food at our stores. So that was the most important thing.
CHRISTOPHER: The Domino’s story is really interesting because
there has been a lot of focus over the years on technology and innovation.
And I feel like, at the time, we had no clue what that was really preparing us for,
and it was preparing us for the environment that we’re in.
Thankfully, we had, you know, the infrastructure to be agile
and to be able to move the business quickly to address the current needs of our associates
and our team members and our stores as well as our customers.
SEAN: What a note to send it out on,
and I just want to give you guys a round of applause from this side.
I know it’s not easy coming off the street, taking on these hot sauces.
It’s exciting to see Domino’s reimagining everything they do
from product to delivery and marketing.
So until next time, I’m Sean Evans. This was Hot Ones.
ART: That one is hot.
SEAN: You guys did great. You guys did great.