The war between Domino’s Pizza and Subway escalated as Domino’s president David Brandon set fire on national TV to a Cease & Desist letter from Subway lawyers.
Domino’s recent ad campaign trumpets an independent taste test that says consumers preferred Domino’s new oven baked sandwiches over Subway’s by a margin of two-to-one. Subway wants the campaign pulled.
(Hey, Subway, have you heard of YouTube? Or The Way Back Machine?) Make a big enough stink and the ad you want to ban is sure to spread virally. And nothing that’s ever been online really disappears if you know where to look!
“I was going to burn the letter,” says Domino’s CEO “but everything’s better when it’s oven-baked.” Then he tosses the letter in a big Domino’s oven where it catches fire. And they play the ad Subway tried to have banned.
Brandon says Domino’s got approval for its claims from its own lawyers and those of every network that ran the campaign. “The requirements are significant and we passed all of them.”
Times are tough, and market share is gold. Challenge ads are nothing new – Avis challenged Hertz decades ago, and Miller challenged Bud (or did Bud challenger Miller?)
Yet, when a company can’t succeed unless it trashes another company, they don’t always get the desired result.
If Subway makes enough noise, Domino’s could end up winning consumer support – and if that happens, the ad Domino’s ad could go viral.
More likely, consumers will not care, or will forget who trashed whom, or who won. It’s quite possible that people will figure the Domino’s test was rigged anyway. That’s nothing but a no-win situation all around.
And marketers take note: Domino’s v Subway or vice versa is not at all in the spirit of the Obama era.