|Nuro self-driving vehicle avoids the Noid in Domino's Pizza ad|
The Noid is back. And it's gotten a makeover.
Domino's Pizza has brought back its red-suited, long-eared villain from the late '80s in a campaign that hypes its new driverless pizza delivery.
The Noid returns in TV spots trying to disrupt a delivery being handled by the Nuro R2 robot, an autonomous vehicle that operates without a driver. The self-driving robot is being tested by a single Domino's location in Houston for online prepaid orders at certain hours as part of a partnership Domino's began with Nuro in 2019.
The spot was shot more than a year ago, then put on hold when COVID-19 delayed the rollout of the Nuro R2.
The Noid, for the uninitiated, was a character Domino's introduced in 1986 in spots from agency Group 243. With its floppy ears and red suit with an "N" on the belly, the Noid was determined to destroy pizza. Time after time, Domino's survived the Noid's attacks. The premise worked to promote the chain's timely delivery. "Avoid the Noid" was a phrase that was hard to avoid for years.
The updated Noid has less of the "intense anger or glee" of the original, says Kate Trumbull, Domino's vice president of advertising.
The new ad opens with a Domino's worker loading two medium pizzas into the Nuro R2 as an announcer says: "At Domino's we're constantly innovating to find better ways to deliver you pizza, which is why we're testing driverless delivery powered by Nuro. And it's got someone back to their old habits." Just then, the creature appears out of nowhere and lands its "pizza crusher" in the path of the moving R2. The driverless vehicle artfully veers away to avoid a collision.
The character will also be featured in the "Crash Bandicoot: On the Run" mobile game. Noid T-shirts and tumblers are for sale on Amazon, and GIPHY has Noid GIFs. In other words, the Noid is once again going to be hard to avoid.
– Jessica Wohl, Advertising Age