When two Domino’s Pizza employees filmed a prank in the restaurant’s kitchen, they decided to post it online. In a few days, thanks to the power of social media, they ended up with felony charges, more than a million disgusted viewers, and a major company facing a public relations crisis.
In videos posted on YouTube and elsewhere this week, a Domino’s employee in Conover, N.C., prepared sandwiches for delivery while putting cheese up his nose, nasal mucus on the sandwiches, and violating other health-code standards while a fellow employee provided narration.
The two were charged with delivering prohibited foods.
By Wednesday afternoon, the video had been viewed more than a million times on YouTube. References to it were in five of the 12 results on the first page of Google search for “Dominos,” and discussions about Domino’s had spread throughout Twitter....
In just a few days, Domino’s reputation was damaged. The perception of its quality among consumers went from positive to negative since Monday, according to the research firm YouGov, which holds online surveys of about 1,000 consumers every day regarding hundreds of brands.“It’s graphic enough in the video, and it’s created enough of a stir, that it gives people a little bit of pause,” said Ted Marzilli, global managing director for YouGov’s BrandIndex.
In Just 24 Hours, Clip Has Received 760,000 Views, and Warrants Are Out for Offending Employees' Arrest
CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Only 24 hours ago Domino's was looki
ng for a reasoned response to a web video showing two employees apparently defacing its food. The pizza chain had located the employees and was examining its legal options but was trying to stay below the radar.What a difference a day makes.
After a blogosphere firestorm, the video went from 20,000 views on YouTube to 760,000 views, the errant employees were fired and warrants were issued for their arrest. Domino's has also posted a statement on its corporate website....
Unfortunately for Domino's, the video has already taken at least a temporary toll on quality and buzz ratings, as measured by BrandIndex. So far the changes are driven by negative perceptions among women. Buzz fell from 22.5 points last Friday to 13.6 yesterday. More significantly, Domino's quality rating fell from 5 on Monday to minus 2.8 yesterday. Quality ratings are generally more stable, less susceptible to the news cycle and unlikely to move quickly in one direction or the other.
YouTube Stunt Hurts Domino's Pizza Ratings
A video created and posted on YouTube by two rogue Domino's Pizza employees early this week is negatively affecting the perceptions of the brand being expressed online, according to BrandIndex, the daily online consumer brand perception service from YouGovPolimetrix.
Not terribly surprising, given that the video shows one of them inserting cheese into his nostril and waving meat under his rear end, then putting both on a sandwich supposedly destined for some "unlucky customer." (The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that both employees have been fired and that arrest warrants have been issued for them after the franchise filed a criminal complaint.)
BrandIndex shows Domino's Pizza's "buzz score" -- which measures response to the question: "If you've heard anything about this brand in the past two weeks, was it positive or negative?" -- as dropping from 22.5 as of April 10 to 13.6 as of Tuesday. The drop was mainly driven by negative perceptions expressed by women, the service reports.
A score can range from 100 to -100, and is compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. Any score over zero represents a positive perception, and any score under zero represents a negative perception. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
Between Monday (the day the video was apparently posted) and Tuesday, the separately measured quality perception score dropped from 5 to a -2.8 -- also driven primarily by negative ratings from women, BrandIndex reports.--Karlene Lukovitz