A Large Pizza, and Hold the Violence

Advertiser: Domino's Pizza

Agency: Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis

Challenge: Appeal to kids in order to attract families' business. The company previously focused on young adults.

The Ads: Three TV spots follow the mishaps of the evil Dr. Craven (actually a plastic action figure) as he attempts to intercept deliveries of Domino's pizza. After a Domino's delivery person kicks 5-inch-tall Craven into the street in one ad, a car runs over Craven and breaks him into pieces. "A crushing defeat for Dr. Craven," the narrator says. Other spots also use slapstick humor.

Comment: As Domino's targets the family market, it should keep family values in mind. There's nothing wrong with thwarting the pizza-snatching Craven, but Domino's goes too far by allowing the toy to be kicked and smashed to bits. Round Table Pizza also uses cartoonish violence, but its ad isn't aimed specifically at kids. $

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