espn drags domino’s into good advertising

ESPN knows their target audience. From the wall-to-wall sports programming before anyone thought it would be successful to the over-produced, quick-cut highlights that fit exactly into the half-second attention span of most young males to the ads for SportsCenter that are classics of the genre, ESPN simply knows how to appeal to their audience. So it’s a no-brainer, if your product has the same demo, to align your brand with theirs.

Domino’s Pizza, which is launching a series of ninety-second ads that are really more like ESPN vignettes that feature Domino’s product, is going to position itself as “the official pizza of sports gatherings.” At least that is what Hayes Tauber, ESPN Brand Director, says, and he seems like the kind of guy you would take at his word.

The spots themselves, by the unfortunately-named Los Angeles agency Ground Zero, don’t quite live up to the wonderfulness of the SportsCenter spots, but they have a similar sense of humor, are a HUGE improvement from the regular Domino’s spots and seamlessly integrate Domino’s into sports parties:

Maybe too seamlessly as I had to re-watch the spot to see where Domino’s was featured. That is only a small complaint as, knowing ESPN, these will be in heavy enough rotation that it won’t be an issue and the second execution (there will be four when it’s all said and done) does a better job of calling out Domino’s:

These spots are a great move by Domino’s because they not only give it an occasion to own, but they result in much better (more creative and more targeted in terms of messaging) advertising than the brand does on its own.

Win-win.

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