By Sharan Saikumar

sharan saikumar cartoonBack in our days life was simple (It’s amazing how you begin to sound like your mother even when you swore you wouldn’t).

There were not many things you could do with a pizza except… well, eat it rapaciously. In a staple menu of dal chawal , whenever the aforementioned mother decided to indulge us – pizza would appear – and disappear within minutes, devoured by three hungry mouths. And that was that. Until the next pizza appeared.

Then, when control (and the telephone) moved to our hands we could now Dial- A- Pizza. A variation of this is called TIVO-ing a Pizza and it takes place on your TV couch through your remote control in case your mobile phone is a couple of inches too far for your tired body to stretch. This Dialing/Tivo-ing that takes place 30 minutes before the aforementioned devouring, takes our engagement with the pizza up dramatically – you now spend 30 minutes dreaming about the pizza before it even comes. The truly efficient also use their iphone app to track their pie as it gets cheesed and pepperonied and makes its way across crippling traffic into their waiting arms.

Not satisfied with all the dialing, TIVO-ing, tracking and eating associated with their product (after all, Pepsi has even added ‘blowing up’ with a Minto to their product usage list) the pizza guys went on to add Making (create your own pizza), Baking (live demos), and now have even added Complaining to their product interaction lexicon. Millions of viewers watched as Dominoes’ customers declared to the stunned Dominoes team that their base was like cardboard. This video was posted by Dominoes and turned into excellent PR. And now with Earn a Pizza (through blogging about it) they seem to have really completed the gamut of possible verbs associated with the product.

This dogged imperative make your product enter spheres of your consumers life beyond consumption seems to be the marketing imperative today. Can a mouth freshener be a delivery for fresh jokes? Can an ice-cream be a dating service?

It’s only natural then that a confused consumer will retaliate. If you’re going to make him do weird stuff with your product he’s going to go one up on you and do weirder stuff with it. So he uses your high-end washing machine to churn industrial quantities of milk. Or worse, he uses your super-absorbent sanitary pad to absorb sweat around his neck.

Note to the pizza guys: let the poor guy eat in peace or he’ll soon be creating a carton out of your cardboard pizza before you can even say Dominoes!