Domino's Pies No Prima Donnas

Food photographers, watch out. People might never have thought much about how their pepperoni pizza is glamorized in the close-up photos that run on ads and Web sites, but Domino's has decided that they should. In an effort to show how down-to-earth it is, the giant pizza delivery chain is taking a stand. It is only using pizza pictures that are not retouched and are free from food stylists.

It could be a surprise to learn that a single shot of a $6 pizza requires at least an hour of preparation by a stylist and 129 others, but thanks to Domino's YouTube video, with 267,000 views, now you know.

The unretouched pizza idea was hatched by Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, which also crafted a marketing campaign around it. And since the idea is to banish the photo pros, it makes sense that the company would go completely amateur, and reach out to consumers in a photo contest. The chain is giving $6,000 to 12 people ($500 each) who submit the best unretouched photos of Domino's pizzas. The winning shots are also "likely" to end up in ads, says the chain. The contest began in late June and by mid-August a gallery on the dedicated site, "Show Us Your Pizza," had 360 pictures of pizza - often accompanied by dogs, babies or kittens. Let's just say some of the pepperoni close-ups were more appetizing than others.

"If we're going to be real and honest about the taste of our product, we want to be as authentic as possible about how it looks," says Russell Weiner, Domino's CMO. And he makes his case, right there in a letter on the campaign's microsite.

Call it a quibble, but if customers are getting a promise about how good something tastes, they might want it from the company chef, or even the brand's visionary founder - but probably not from the corporate marketing honcho.

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