Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Social Media Hurts Domino's & Maybe Others

Okay so the latest example of brand defamation via social media was thrust upon an unknowing Domino's Pizza. Two Domino's employees thought it would be cute and funny to post YouTube videos of them messing with people's food. The videos quickly rose to popularity (over 720K views) and disgusted a lot of people.

Although these actions were merely taken by two idiotic Domino's employees, their actions have harmed the brand and maybe the brands of key competitors such as Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. Of course they were fired but the damage is done. I hear there is talk of Domino's suing the former employees, which I feel is deserved but how do you get money from two obvious losers who work at a low-paying fast food job? 

I see where this is going. Companies are now going to have to add a page to their employment manuals about responsible social media usage. Most people are smart enough to not do things as stupid as these former Domino's employees but the couple of idiots that are the exception can cause a lot of damage.

As consumers, we need to be aware that a) this is not Domino's fault but rather the gross people who chose to record and post the YouTube videos and b) this is not the norm in food prep.  

As marketers, we have to consider how social media is affecting our brands and learn how to better manage the dissemination of content that could be detrimental to our business.

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