Free pizza! The best two words in the dictionary! When Athlone got geotagged by Domino’s Pizza, I saw a variety of antics to grab a free pizza. Geotagging wasn’t one of them.

When Hashtags Shout Into the Void

Major brands create custom hashtags on a daily basis to attract traffic to their websites, raise their profile, encourage social media interaction and, ultimately, sell more products or services. Sometimes, even the most carefully-planned social media campaigns are received less than enthusiastically. While the free Domino’s pizzas went down a storm in Athlone, only myself and three other people used the campaign hashtag #dominosGPS on Twitter. On a side note, one Twitter profile used my picture without crediting it.

The deal was that, in order to be eligible to receive a free pizza, you needed to spot a travelling ‘Domi-Pin’ and approach the Domino’s staff. Online competition entries involved tagging @Dominos_ROI on Twitter using their custom hashtag #DominosGPS to show that you have spotted the pin in the correct location. This travelling campaign was launched in February 2019 and went to Dublin Citywest, Athlone, Letterkenny and Galway on four consecutive days giving away 400 pizzas in total. 100 pizzas were up for grabs in each location at designated points: in Athlone that was at the entrance to the Athlone Towncentre shopping mall.

The joy of free pizza! A nice treat at Athlone Towncentre

The terms and conditions for the giveaway mentioned that you could also tweet or retweet a picture of the Domi-Pin for a chance to enter and win a voucher code for a large pizza (RRP €22). The prize was a free Catalan Chicken & Chorizo pizza.

On Instagram I was the only person who used the custom hashtag.

No one in Dublin used the hashtag. A search on Facebook produced no results.

Domino’s Catalan Chicken & Chorizo Pizza

The giveaway prize was a personal Domino’s Catalan Chicken & Chorizo pizza. The personal pizza is 7 inches or approximately 18 cm, retailing at €8. In other words, it’s about the size of a dessert plate.

The flavours of the pizza were really pleasant with red pepper and the saltiness from chorizo, which was cooked until crisp. The dough, as the pizza box says, is made fresh each day; it’s pillowy with a slight sweetness. Pizza purists will argue that Domino’s Pizza is far from a traditional Neapolitan pizza and I would agree with that. However, I don’t think it’s fair to look a gift horse in the mouth. I enjoyed the pizza and I might consider having it again, although I prefer not to have chicken as a topping. Sausage on pizza works really well, especially when the sausage is first cooked long enough to yield its fat in the pan to prevent the dough from becoming oily.

Launching Domino’s New Personal Pizza Tracker

The campaign was aimed at launching Domino’s personal pizza tracker app, which allows you to see in real time where your delivery is and how long it will take after you’ve ordered your pizza. Also, the Catalan Chicken & Chorizo pizza is a new addition to Domino’s menu so the campaign was also an opportunity to expose customers to a new product.

The pizza tracker is actually an existing app that has existed since at least 2008 in the US and was considered to be a first in the food industry. The Daily Edge called it “a baby monitor for pizza”, which is hilarious. It also questioned the accuracy of the app, hinting that it could simply be set on a timer.

Domino’s reported a Q4 2018 £312.9 million in sales across its UK and Republic of Ireland operations. Sales were more than £1 billion for the whole year in 2017, of which 75% was online in an attempt to beat rival food delivery companies such as JustEat.

Domino’s in Athlone is based at Kilmartin Centre near Woodie’s, Creggan Court Hotel and Burren Lodge B&B.

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