How the Domino’s YouTube Scandal created a Crisis for the Brand

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The “Domino’s Youtube Scandal” is a perfect example about how social media can have a negative impact on a brand, ultimately leading them into a crisis. This example helps to understand Social Media Crises of different types, how Domino’s was negatively impacted by social media, and the necessary steps that need to be taken when a crisis hits a brand.

What is a Social Media Crisis?

Before we can jump into examples of how a brand went through a crisis, let’s take a look at what a social media crisis truly is. A social media crisis is simply anything that could negatively impact a business reputation and/or response through social media.

There are many different types of social media crises:

Multi-Channel Crisis: This can be extremely dangerous as it has the potential of going viral very quick and create a great deal of negativity throughout the public. These events occur across multiple social networks or multiple types of media such as print and broadcast.

Emerging Crisis: These are generally protracted issues that a company needs to manage for a long time, such as human rights, labor issues, sustainability, etc. When a topic increases in scrutiny it can quickly emerge into a crisis.

Industry Crisis: When an industry as a whole experiences a crisis. Examples include fashion brands addressing forced labor, firms addressing supply chain shocks due to the pandemic, natural disasters that may cause disruption to producing items that are only manufactured in that part of the world, etc.

Fake News: Especially with social media only being one click away to being viral, one must be able to detect rumors about a brand.

Domino’s YouTube Scandal

After watching this video you may have your own opinion on how you feel about eating at Domino’s again. Though this video seems outdated, it still can have the same effects on people to this day.

This is Domino’s Pizza in Conover, NC. These two employees thought it would be a good idea to show viewers their way of preparing food for their customers. Their way of preparation of food for their customers to consume consisted of contaminating it through spitting, sneezing, putting food up their nose, down their pants, etc. Truly a disgusting act for the two of them which later gave them both felony charges.

It isn’t hard to tell what went wrong between the two employees in the actual video though. The result for Domino’s was that the company itself took a big hit to their audience and their brand image as well. This video was posted on YouTube and was actually one of the first internet videos to be used for an investigation. After 3 days, the video had over a 1 million views and left Dominos at the top of Google search engine, all for the wrong reasons. This would definitely follow under a Multi-Channel Crisis.

How did social media damage Domino’s brand?

Outside of customers just being disgusted, this video sparked an outrage within Domino’s customers and left many of them to lose the trust for their establishment. Domino’s did not issue a statement until a couple days after this video went viral, leaving more people to have a negative outlook on the problem at hand. Ultimately leaving millions of people believing that your brand is not respectful and not putting customers health into consideration.


How could this have been prevented?

Domino’s marketing team couldn’t really control the actions of the two employees, though they could’ve made extra steps to defuse the situation. They were delayed on detecting the issue which sparked it into reaching more viewers. They didn’t release a statement until a couple days after which created more negativity on their brand. They ultimately just didn’t make any decisions in a timely matter.

What Domino’s needed to do was: First Detect the issue that was created on social media, Second React quickly and acknowledge/ act on the wrongs made (explain how that isn’t your brand/ poor representation), and Lastly Prevent future situations.

Published by Jack Schwartz

My name is Jack Schwartz and the place that I call home is Lake Elmo, Minnesota. I graduated from Mahtomedi High School in the year 2018. I am currently a marketing major at Coastal Carolina University and enjoy my days here, at Coastal. My favorite book is The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. I don't read much, but I believe that this book made me want to keep reading and not look up!

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