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Domino's shifts spotlight to chicken

After reformulating its pizza, chain looks to revamp chicken dishes

Domino’s Pizza is following the successful marketing effort that focused on its reformulated pizza with a new product revamp and advertising campaign highlighting its chicken wings and boneless chicken.

Debuting this week, the reformulated wings are available in Hot, BBQ and the new Sweet Mango Habanero flavors, while the new boneless chicken item is served lightly breaded with a choice of four dipping sauces: Sweet Mango Habanero, Kickers Hot, BBQ or Ranch.

Prices for both items are $5.99 for an eight-piece order, $9.99 for 14 pieces, and $24.99 for a 40-piece order.

The new chicken products are the latest new items to drive Domino’s marketing, following the launch of the new pizza and previous debuts of Oven Baked Subs and Bread Bowl Pastas.

Much like the “Pizza Turnaround” TV and online commercials that ran during the debut of Domino’s “new, inspired” pizza in December 2009, the chain’s latest campaign to support its revamped chicken will feature a documentary-style look at Domino’s test kitchen and the employees in charge of improving the product. National TV ads and the full online documentary, staring Domino’s chicken chef known simply as Tate, will begin airing March 2.

The company said this campaign would be its first national advertising effort centered on chicken since 2002.

“We want to continue innovating and reinventing our menu and brand, and our new chicken is the next chapter of our story,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and chief executive. “Not only are our new boneless chicken and wings much improved based on customer feedback, but we are again opening our doors and letting consumers see the real people — behind the real story — talk about how this came about.”

“Over 80 percent of our menu consists of new, permanent menu items introduced since 2008, so the desire to continue getting better goes well beyond just our pizza,” said Russell Weiner, Domino’s chief marketing officer. “The feedback we heard from consumers was that they wanted more choice and customization with the boneless chicken, and of course, we know how loyal wing lovers are, so we strived to deliver on providing a better texture and flavor.”

Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Domino’s Pizza operates or franchises 9,351 in the United States and more than 60 countries.

Contact Mark Brandau at [email protected].

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