Taking advantage of an ongoing wave of consumer nostalgia for ’80s pop culture, Domino’s recreates Noid, a character initially tasked with stopping the chain from fulfilling its promise to deliver pizza in 30 minutes or less. The mascot’s mission has been adjusted to take into account trends unique to 2021 such as autonomous delivery and mobile gaming – two areas of technology that experienced increased traction during the coronavirus outbreak. Incidentally, the appearance of the rabbit-eared icon received a digital upgrade after the first iteration was made. In the style of Claymation by Will Vinton Studiosis also known for bringing California Raisins to life.
While Noid returns on some channels that did not exist during its initial run, other themes continue. The first Noid was similarly marketed around video games and appeared during the first console craze and around the golden age of arcade games. Two games, Yo! Noid and Avoid the Noid were finally developed for the character. Noid is now King’s Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! It will appear in an existing franchise as part of the in-game collaboration! Hood. Additionally, players will get access to pizza-themed skins for their avatars in the mobile game.
As COVID-19 increases the demand for contactless options, Domino’s meaningfully rolls the dice on autonomous delivery. Earlier this month, the chain started a driverless pilot Benefiting from Nuro’s R2 offer in Houston. When ordering online, consumers in certain neighborhoods can choose to have their pizza delivered via unmanned vehicles. Orders can be tracked in the Domino’s app and unlocked with a special PIN code.
Having spent several decades at the rear, Domino’s hopes consumers have largely forgotten why they disabled Noid for the first time. In the late ’80s, when a disturbed man named Kenneth Lamar Noid took employees hostage at gunpoint, the character became the center of the controversy after he believed Noid ads were somehow ridiculed or inspired by him. Domino’s continued to use the mascot after the incident. By Food and Wine, however, he eventually retired the character after Noid died of suicide in 1995.
Bringing Noid back comes as Domino’s creative strategy evolves. In January, the independent organization WorkInProgress took over duties as the brand’s registration agency (AOR) fulfills the role that MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter Bogusky (CPB) has played for 13 years. Colorado-based WorkInProgress was founded by former CPB members who have been working with Domino’s for more than six years. The AOR exchange was one of Art D’Elia’s first major moves after being promoted to Domino’s marketing manager last August.