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Domino’s DomiCopter — a glimpse of the future, or just a marketing gimmick?

Domino’s haven’t, in New Zealand at least, had much luck. For instance, earlier this year they announced an imminent game changer culminating in their “biggest announcement in 20 years,” according to their Facebook page. Even the CEO himself added the statement “You’ve demanded change, and we’ve pushed ourselves to respond.”

Yet this ‘#gamechanger’ turned out to only be an offering of premium toppings and square pizza bases. Not much of a game changer, and audiences on social media sites ranging from Facebook to YouTube reflected this, with comments like “This is not a game changer” and “YOU HAD US ON THE EDGE OF OUR SEATS FOR THIS?” These and similar messages dominated the pizza store’s pages.

And still it got worse. These negative comments were then reportedly deleted by the pizza chain only serving to enrage their community further.

As a result, Domino’s are in a position where they need to revolutionise their brand image. Here’s where the DomiCopter comes into the story. A remote controlled drone complete with cameras is loaded up with a pizza order and, instead of having to deal with streets, traffic and intersections, it flies directly to the delivery house.

Here’s a clip of this



But as YouTube posters have aptly pointed out, it’s very unlikely that this technology will come into proper, or even regular, use within the foreseeable future.

One commenter wrote “I miss the part when you get your hand freshly sliced into extra pepperoni toppings,” while another pointed out the limitations for the technology, estimating that with the added weight the battery life of the drone would be almost halved to 17 minutes. Not a very good delivery radius, is it? And what about multiple pizza orders adding extra weight, therefore reducing the battery life even further?

Falling pizza delivery drones hitting people in the head would definitely not be a good look for Domino’s, although some lucky people could score some free pizza. But yes, this a clever marketing gimmick. It’s a tough world we live in when we admire brands that think ahead but annihilate those pretending to innovate for the sake of marketing.

Unfortunately putting pizza in a drone and recording it is not innovating your delivery methods, it’s putting some pizza in a drone and recording it. Unless you have changed your delivery process enough to actually be delivering pizza’s to consumers in this fashion then you haven’t innovated.

This self created hype can be a risky business strategy and backfire. Innovation is more than just thinking: it’s innovating. In a world where critical commentary is at the tip of every consumer’s fingers, you need to be ever more vigilant of the potential outcomes.


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