EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1462 - January 29, 2007     4 of 5

Pizza Promo Used eBay in Viral Marketing Antics

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Domino's Pizza created viral marketing videos that utilized social networking sites like MySpace and YouTube to generate buzz about its Anything Goes Deal pizza promotion featuring items on eBay. One series called "MacKenzie gets what MacKenzie wants" featured a spoiled rich girl who wanted a blue car for her birthday but got a red one instead. "Her whining persisted until she got the car she wanted and then, much to the surprise and delight of video viewers, she decided to offer her red car on eBay for only $9.99."

"We took an unusual and innovative approach to creating buzz about our latest Anything Goes Deal promotion," said Ken Calwell, Domino's chief marketing officer. "The purpose of the viral videos was to engage and entertain consumers with the storylines and get them talking about the characters, the contest and most importantly, Domino's Pizza."

Domino's second premium prize was revealed with the "Rich Man" video series. This series introduced a man who eventually offered a Hitachi plasma TV on eBay for $9.99 to prove just how rich he really was. Domino's offered more than $250,000 worth of premium items for $9.99 each using eBay Buy It Now listings. The promotion is running through February 5.

Advertisers are increasingly turning to Internet viral marketing techniques but face the risk of backlash when viewers learn the campaigns are marketing stunts. Last year Walmart paid a PR agency to create a blog called "Working Families for Walmart" but failed to disclose that it was behind the blog. The head of the agency apologized - where else - on his blog (

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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