Sep 17, 2018

Pizza for life — with a catch

Image: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A marketing stunt in Russia kicked off a minor rush to tattoo parlors when Domino’s Pizza promised 100 years of free pies to anyone who permanently inscribed themselves with the company's logo.

The big picture: A local franchise found that it needs to be much more careful in its offers of free food, write WSJ's James Marson and Thomas Grove.

The details: The promotion by a Domino’s franchise in Russia received more responses in just a few days than were expected over the course of months.

  • The promotion: Anyone willing to plaster the Domino's logo on their bodies would receive 100 free pizzas a year, for 100 years.
  • To lock down the prize, an inky pizza-lover needed only a social-media post showing off the tat.
  • Four days after announcing the campaign, Domino’s pulled the plug. Already, 381 people had qualified.

There are reasons why this seemingly outrageous promotion could cause such a ruckus, write Marson and Grove.

  • Memories of hungry Soviet times and a bad 1990s economy prime Russians to seek out particularly juicy deals, they write. The economy isn’t doing that well right now, either, with the average disposable income hovering around $500 a month.
  • An invasion of American culture has helped turn tattoos from a mark of criminality to a symbol to be sported by trendy hipsters.

One 25-year-old Russian, newly tatted, told the WSJ: “I won’t get tired of [the free pizza]. Food is sacred, and I would do it again if there was a promotion for beer … or wine … definitely with whiskey.”

Go deeper: American millennials: a tattooed generation (Axios)

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