The Supine Gourmet

Imagine: You’re lying on the couch watching a show you TiVo’d earlier, when a commercial comes on for Domino’s. Thick crust, gooey cheese—man, that looks good. Wish someone would order some pizza. But you just can’t seem to get off the couch.

No problem, says Domino’s, which has just announced an innovative program with TiVo’s broadband division. When a Domino’s ad comes on, even if the customer is forwarding through it, TiVo sends a pop-up promotion that asks the customer if he or she would like to order a pizza. If the viewer indicates yes, an ordering screen is next. And a hot pie will be at the door about a half hour later, costing the same as if you’d ordered it over the phone.

According to the Wall Street Journal the whole scheme is intended to thwart the digital recording technology that has stymied advertisers in recent years. Or, in other words: You want to forward through our ad? You’re going to see one anyway.

Apparently, in these trying economic times, people no longer see pizza as a bargain meal, preferring to spend their spare cash at “value” restaurants like cheap ol’ McDonald’s. The Journal reports that Domino’s shares have fallen 71 percent over the last year, and a move toward local instead of national advertising has accelerated a three-year sales slide. One bright spot has been online ordering, which now makes up a significant, and growing, portion of Domino’s business.

So the thinking goes, why not make it easier for customers to order? As a Domino’s president quoted in the Journal story puts it, “Why even get up off that couch now?” I don’t know the answer to that. Why not ask these guys?

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