Domino’s sets up virtual film festival rewarding fans for making home videos

Dive Brief:

  • Domino’s established a virtual film festival where fans can submit homemade videos for a chance to win a year’s worth of free pizza, per a news release.
  • Through Aug. 11, consumers can submit their efforts to the Domino’s Homemade Film Festival website. Between Sept. 7-11, visitors can watch selected festival entries and vote on their favorites. The grand-prize winner to be announced on Sept. 18 will receive $1,560 in Domino’s eGift cards, while second place will get $500 and third place will get $200.
  • Submission guidelines include shooting videos horizontally and in quiet, well-lit spaces, keeping films under 60 seconds and avoiding unlicensed music. Domino’s is also nudging creators toward ideas centered on its brand, such as spotlighting contactless delivery or depicting what dinner conversations over its pizza sound like.

Dive Insight:

Domino’s film festival, while light-hearted in spirit, recognizes that the coronavirus pandemic will likely force U.S. consumers to stay cooped up for at least several more months, meaning many people may be seeking distractions to keep themselves occupied. Actual stateside film festivals that would typically gear up in late summer and early fall, including the Telluride Film Festival, have been cancelled due to the health crisis, creating a vacuum for filmmakers and film buffs alike.

While the concept could provide a creative outlet for stir-crazy consumers, it acts as a means for Domino’s to accrue video assets that can be leveraged in advertising. Kate Trumbull, Domino’s vice president of advertising, said that submissions have the chance to be featured in future Domino’s TV commercials, a stipulation that suggests the brand will be leaning into virtual production and user-generated content for the near future. The festival website notes that videos may also be shared on Domino’s social channels, although that’s not an indication of which ones are winning the contest.

Recent Domino’s ads represent the lo-fi approach the brand is looking for in user submissions. A national TV commercial that started airing earlier in July was shot on iPhone and features the real family of a creative director at CPB, the agency that created the ad, Muse by Clio reported. In the spot, the executive’s kids emulate making a Domino’s delivery via a playhouse and toy car outfitted with the company’s branding and blue-and-white color scheme.

Brands in a number of other categories are coming to depend on real people and virtual shoots to keep churning out ads at a regular pace as studio production remains frozen. Several back-to-school campaigns this year, including those of Macy’s and American Eagle, were shot and assembled by real families and teens.

Domino’s long-running focus on delivery and innovating with ordering technology have helped it weather a pandemic that has hit the restaurant category hard. In earnings results released earlier this month, the company saw same-store sales, a key business metric for restaurants, jump 16.1% as people ordered more delivery and takeout.

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