OK, so thought experiment: Actress Sharon Stone famously said that an overnight success in Hollywood takes 10 years. Question: How long would it have taken Stone if she’d owned a Long Island Domino’s pizza franchise?
While you’re thinking, I might as well use this time to inform you of a current national television commercial by the above-named company featuring John Hall, who happens to own a Domino’s in Wyandanch. The gravity with which he delivers his first line stops you — “at Domino’s, a delivery gone wrong doesn’t just hurt your pizza night” — and calls to mind nothing less than a slightly nasal Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” A woman identified only as “Emily, Domino’s franchisee 9 years,” finishes the thought: “It hurts our pride.”
The plaintiveness of Emily’s delivery demands explanation, and soon enough it emerges that Domino’s is offering a kind of no-cost “insurance” on the pizzas you order, which I think is an excellent idea. Just think of how many things that can go wrong. Or just listen to Hall.
“It could be a missing dipping sauce, it could be a wrong topping, it arrives cold,” he says, taking the viewer’s tension to a level rarely reached by national pizza spots. The mind is flooded with memories of a party gone horribly wrong some years ago after an order of cheesy bread was delivered minus a cup of garlic dipping sauce, triggering a riot from which some members of my group have never recovered.
But we can all relax, because now if Domino’s makes a mistake (and we have the presence of mild to file a claim), the matter will be investigated, after which you can expect compensation at some future date. Not financial compensation, mind you, but a correct version of what you originally ordered.
The commercial climaxes with Hall paying a surprise visit to a claimant’s home, replacement pie in tow. “I noticed you had an issue with your last delivery,” he announces with a sly grin after the surprised homeowner answers her door. The woman appears genuinely shocked and thrilled to see him. Indeed, she would not have been more shocked and thrilled, it seems, had it been Publishers Clearing House and not Domino’s that showed up.
So how long does it take for a Long Island Domino’s man to become an overnight success? A staggering 30 years, the length of time Hall has been a franchisee. And while fame can be fleeting, given the strength of his debut performance, our favorite pizza man would seem an unlikely flash in the pan.