News & Views

The Iceman Melteth

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Real-time competition to win a year’s free pizza turns Domino’s into trending topic

Pizza chain Domino’s in the UK caused a storm on Twitter in early February with a real-time competition and a tasty prize.

On 5 February, the official Domino’s UK Twitter account tweeted ‘Tomorrow. Win FREE pizza for a year. That’s all we’re saying for now. Oh except for #DominosMeltdown

The following day the company announced via Twitter that the competition had kicked off, asking people to tweet the #DominosMeltdown hashtag. The tweet also linked to a live video stream on YouTube showing an ice sculpture of a Domino’s delivery man holding a real pizza box.

Each tweet increased the temperature of a heat lamp positioned behind the sculpture and the tweet which coincided with the pizza being dropped by the slowly-melting ice man won the promised year’s supply of free pizza.

Around five hours in, the excitement of watching ice melt was heightened with the fleeting arrival of a man in a gorilla suit.

A little over six hours into the competition, one of the ice man’s arms dislocated and the pizza box finally dropped, with three people named as winners  including @JanoGirl who tweeted in jubilation ‘#DominosMeltdown PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA COUNTDOWN! IM LEGIT PEEING ON MYSELF! I NEED TO WIN PIZZA AGHHHH X who won!!!’

The campaign was created by Iris, London.

Results: Domino’s reports that over 12,000 people took part in the campaign on twitter, with approximately 2,000 tweets posted every hour – c. 33 per minute.

The average dwell time on the YouTube live steam was 12 minutes.

#DominosMeltdown was the top trending topic in the UK

Contagious asked Adam Wright, managing partner Iris Worldwide, to expand on the purpose of the campaign and its target audience:

‘Fitting under the above-the-line campaign platform of Winter Survival, the idea was to celebrate the efforts of Domino’s delivery drivers and the conditions they face, come wind, rain or shine.

Our target audience was young pizza lovers [who are] actively social and engaged with the brand. As well as people looking for bit of a distraction from what they’re supposed to be doing… We already knew from our #Gamefuel activation that Domino’s fans are up for getting involved – give them an opportunity to participate in something fun and different and they’re in.’

'At the end of the day, if you talk about Domino’s long enough, you really, really fancy ordering a pizza' – Adam Wright, managing partner Iris Worldwide

Contagious Insight

Social channels such as Twitter can be daunting for brands  seemingly demanding a constant stream of messages and content. However, as Domino’s demonstrates here, short-term actions can allow people to group around a brand in a more participatory way. In that regard #DominosMeltdown reminded us of Heineken’s #tweetforatable service. Both campaigns reframe the question from ‘what do we say on Twitter?’ to ‘what could we do on Twitter which our followers would engage with?’  a subtle shift which puts the emphasis on trying to create value for people.

With that in mind, the value exchange is stacked firmly in the favour of participants, with a year of free pizza surely being worth the effort to tweet a brand hashtag.

However, much as we like #DominosMeltdown, our favourite remote ice-melting campaign may still be this effort from Auckland City Mission because flamethrowers and sledgehammers will always beat heat lamps from a spectator’s point of view, especially if they don't have a year's worth of free pizza to eat while they watch.

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact