A little sweetness after a pizza is just the treat that Domino’s Pizza is hoping to entice its customers with as it kicks off a nationwide brownie-sampling event tomorrow to introduce its new Brownie Squares.
The events will run from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m. local time when some of the pizza franchise’s more than 5,000 locations will hand out free samples of warm, bite-sized brownies with warm chocolaty centers, and a side of fudge dipping sauce.
For a limited time Domino’s is also giving customers a free order of the brownies when they order a large pizza at regular menu price. TV ads broke yesterday to support the deal. The brownies are also available for purchase starting at around $3.99.
“This is the first time that we’re launching a product that does not use traditional pizza dough,” said Dana Harville, spokesperson for Ann Arbor, MI-based Domino’s. “We tested the market and found that consumers in general would want a brownie after a pizza, and now we’re rolling it out nationally.”
Part of that roll out includes NASCAR’s GFS Marketplace 400 car race on Sunday where Domino’s gave out 60,000 samples of the brownies to race fans, teams and media. The pizza chain is the Official Pizza of NASCAR.
To promote the in-restaurant sampling events, Domino’s began delivering Brownie Squares to local TV, radio and print outlets across the country yesterday in a grassroots p.r. effort.
Domino’s created Fudgems, a three-foot-tall brownie character, who serves as the mascot and figure head for Brownie Squares. Fudgems, who made his debut at the NASCAR event, lives on Fudgems.com and a Hispanic version named Brownito lives at Brownito.com. Both versions of the site allow visitors to hear Fudgems “brownie-speak” and see it translated into English or Spanish, watch Fudgems dance to songs of various genres including salsa and hip-hop, and play a Domino’s trivia game where correct answers sends Fudgems plunging off of a pedestal into a fudge dipping sauce.
“We hope people will latch on to [Brownie Squares] and if people do, it could become a permanent menu item for us,” Harville said.
Domino’s will also promote the new item on its Web site. The company’s U.S. revenues topped $3.3 billion in 2005.