Is Domino’s Delivery Insurance Bad Advertising?

A quick note before I get to Domino’s and their Delivery Insurance advertising… We’ve all seen the, mostly consternation, at the husband who buys his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas. The issues: husband type gives beautiful wife an exercise bike; she (at 120 LBs kicks into gear and by the end drops three LBs.) PC issues here. People go crazy. Spoof TV commercial goes very viral. But, for comparison on the PC scale, I discuss worker exploitation that stars in a Domino’s TV commercial. Did this ad get anyone’s attention? Well, a bit. But not at the level of Peloton.

I am sitting in front of my TV in Mexico watching Sunday NFL football games. Domino’s is spending some big bucks to show me a commercial about its “Delivery Insurance” where their employees freak out, run around the kitchen, drive fast and run down the street and walkways to deliver pizzas that quite possibly had arrived earlier without the right topping. Holy shit, who can live without their pepperoni?

Domino’s Advertising Problem

Like you, I have seen numerous articles in the past couple of months about how Amazon’s hourly-wage employees suffer injury trying to get you that new pair of headphones within 24 hours. Some parts of Amazon’s warehouses look like slave-driven machines. This hasn’t been a good PR season for Bezos.

Given the Amazon press, do you think that Domino’s Kate Trumbull, VP of advertising and Hispanic marketing has been paying attention to how a major corporation can damage its employees in a quest for speed? Does Domino’s ad agency pay attention?

Take a look at this commercial. Take a look at how the hourly-wage employees, note – average hourly wage at Domino’s is $6 to $11 per hour for a delivery driver (I’ll do the math for you – that’s about $20,000 per year) – is hustling like a fucking NASCAR whirling dervish to get you that missing dipping sauce.

I guess the next question is… does the TV viewer care about the insane Domino’s work system as long as they get their sausage?

Am I being too sensitive?

Gary Vaynerchuk Loves You And Your Ad Agency

Contrary to (some) popular belief, Gary Vaynerchuk actually loves you and your advertising agency. He wants to help you grow. Here is my take on today’s Gary Vaynerchuk plus a rather inspiring B2B marketing video.

FYI: One of my best-read blog posts is “Gary Vaynerchuk Is Full Of Shit.” It is a response to his early damning of the advertising industry. Take a read. By the way, it has been read over 5,000 times. Why? Well, putting “Gary Vaynerchuk’ and “Full Of Shit” in your headline gets Google’s attention and speaks to my audience.

My original sense of Gary being full of shit stemmed from Gary’s 2015’s “Do you know the problem with Marketing?” episode of the Ad Age Digital Crash Course:

Here’s the ‘shit’ part. In the video, GaryVee pontificates in ‘Gary Speak’ about how advertising agencies don’t care about selling products (only about winning awards); that emotion does not sell (tell that to Apple’s “Think Different”); that ‘traditional’ advertising is inefficient (like much of digital isn’t); that creatives might want to consider shooting 10 spots for $300K each vs. one for $3 million (this is a new idea??? what world is he living in?) and that maybe we should think about testing advertising before we run it (hmm… that’s a new one).

I love self-promotion. And I get railing at the old ways of doing business to further one’s cause. But, please, cut the way too obvious crap and don’t be insulting.

Gary Vaynerchuk Is Not Full Of Shit – He Wants To Love You (And Your Ad Agency)

OK, that was Gary in 2015 when he was building Vaynermedia and needed some service differentiation. Let’s cut to 2019.  He recently spoke to a meeting of the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts. Watch the speech and Q&A below. Gary has both mellowed and has a lot of insight to deliver – to any B2B marketer. Just like your advertising agency.

A couple of Gary’s key points:

Buy underpriced attention for your agency marketing. This includes hammering underutilized LinkedIn. Hammer. Post like 40X a day.

Create longer content, like Gary’s videos, and cut them up for distribution. Amplify everything.

Don’t go out and hire a “social media expert” to run your program. YOU spend the 50 hours to learn it before you can ever judge the value of the freelancer/expert. I remember asking advertising agency CEO’s at Advertising Week if they ever placed a Google ad. The answer was no. I was like, are you kidding me? Do you even know WTF is going on?

Gary was asked how he finds the time to get things done. His answer – you probably waste three hours a day on really stupid shit. That 1-hour meeting should be 15 minutes.

If you run a local advertising agency, let’s say in Raleigh Durham, create a local show. Do a podcast, a local newsletter, a blog… just become known locally for your agency voice.

Big One: Romance your clients. Ever say thank you? Call up a client one year later to discuss that great project you did 12 months earlier? Send an unexpected gift? Call back a prospect that has fallen off your A-List? Find a good reason to say, Howdy.

The GaryVee Video…


The Idiocy Of Ad Agency Christmas Giving

Yes, Ad Agency Christmas Giving Is Stupid

It is that time of year again. The time that many an ad agency decides that it is a great time of year to add to the ad agency Christmas giving clutter. Am I being Grinch-like? You bet.

Does your ad agency send out Christmas cards or gifts to clients — even prospects? I call this practice stupid. Strong words? Sure.

Look, I have nothing against season’s greetings. But, after working at a couple of agencies (including my own) and watching dozens/hundreds more send out very “creative” Christmas (Chanukah, Kwanza, etc.) cards and gifts during the late-December season, I have to say this is very ill-timed even highly-inefficient outreach. It is wasteful in three critical ways: Read More »

The Secrets of Advertising Agency Business Development

The Not So Secrets of Advertising Agency Business Development

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 5.02.10 PMDo you think that advertising agency business development is hard? Try getting featured on Spotify or on stage at Coachella or Carnegie Hall.

OK, so how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Well, you know the answer: Practice, Practice, Practice.

That really means having objectives, strategies, executions, assigned roles, timetables and analysis. In other words, a plan.

Back to practice because business development is a skill set that gets better over time.

The 10,000-Hour Rule

Here is a definition from Wikipedia of the 10,00-Hour rule as discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers.

A common theme that appears throughout Outliers is the “10,000-Hour Rule”, based on a study by Anders Ericsson. Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples.

The Beatles performed live in Hamburg, Germany over 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964, amassing more than 10,000 hours of playing time, therefore meeting the 10,000-Hour Rule. Gladwell asserts that all of the time The Beatles spent performing shaped their talent and quotes Beatles’ biographer Phillip Norman as saying, “So by the time they returned to England from Hamburg, Germany, ‘they sounded like no one else. It was the making of them.’

Gates met the 10,000-Hour Rule when he gained access to a high school computer in 1968 at the age of 13, and spent 10,000 hours programming on it.

Is Your Advertising Agency Willing To Work (Hard) At Business Development?

If it isn’t, it will fail.

Try This Agency Road Map

  1. Have a master business plan that is reviewed at least annually. The marketing environment, especially in advertising, is changing on a monthly basis. Know how you will make the big bucks and plan for it.
  2. Have clear business development objectives. Not, “I want to work with Nike or Google.” Be real.
  3. Have an in and outbound marketing plan. It must be an easy plan to follow and run – or you will join the 60% of advertising agencies that do not run their plan.
  4. Your plan must be smart but not too complicated. Process rules here.
  5. Be slavish to your agency’s brand positioning. Make it something clients want.
  6. Have a business development leader that is 100% responsible for making sure the Biz Plan runs like clockwork. I suggest that for at least the first 6 months that it be the CEO or COO. She is a feet-to-the-fire person. If the top person isn’t committed to putting agency time and assets towards business development 24/7 – fuhgeddaboudit.
  7. Biz Dev has to become part of agency culture. And, yes, it can be fun, too. Winning business because your plan is working is super fun.
  8. Biz Dev must a job on your daily project list like every client job. You are your agency’s client. If you don’t support the program, then what you do for paying clients will not matter when you shut down.
  9. If you have a dedicated (or part-time, for that matter) aim her or him at the sales target. Here is how to manage that process.
  10. This is a pan-agency challenge. Distribute the workload to responsible people in the agency. Make it part of their compensation plan. If they don’t do their part – they are not rewarded for their client work. They are not going get a large bonus.
  11. Be everywhere your future client looks for new agencies. This includes agency lists, directories, in web searches, award shows, etc. Where would you look for an advertising agency? Are you there?
  12. Have a marketing calendar and be slavish to it.
  13. And… Whatever you do, make sure it’s Unignorable. Boring sucks.

Go do it. From Mario Andretti: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

Don’t Go! Yet…

I have over 600 blog posts dedicated to you and your agency’s business development success. Check them out right here.

If you are in a hurry… email me –

What Do Advertising Clients Want? I Asked A Real Mad Men Man

I asked a real Mad Men man, a senior exec at the Association of National Advertisers, and a long-time playa in the industry, about the current state of the advertising industry. Most importantly, “what do advertising clients want?”

Here are some answers that should be digested and could impact your agency’s business strategy no matter your agency size. This is Part One of my interview. Stay tuned for Part Two.

Michael Donahue is a Senior Director at the ANA (check out their member list); he was a long term EVP at the 4A’s (their digital futurist) and EVP and board member at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising Worldwide. He even invented the Creative Brief format that the 4A’s uses. Decent creds, huh?

He was also my boss for a while. Yes, I have some stories.

Peter: Let’s talk a little bit about the clients and what they’re looking for today from their advertising agency partners. What are the top, let’s just keep it simple, three marketing communications related pain points that marketers are experiencing today? Can you give us an overview of that? Read More »