Domino’s Offered Free Pizza for Life in Exchange for a Logo Tattoo. It Found People Really Like Ink.

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MOSCOW—Six college students in a row hurried into Konstantin Gonyshev’s small tattoo parlor in the future this month with an identical requests to ink a domino, and fast.

Days earlier, Domino’s Pizza in Russia had introduced a promotion that was presupposed to run for 2 months providing lifelong free pizza to anybody who tatted up with the corporate’s emblem. However that morning, it posted on social media that it was ending the promotion—though those that have been being inked proper then may nonetheless make the noon cutoff.

You’ve acquired it for all times

“Greater than one million folks would have come to demand pizzas” if the promotion had lasted the total two months, guessed 24-year-old Natalia Koshkina, who acquired a small Domino’s emblem tattooed above her left kneecap, slightly below a cranium embellished with roses and butterflies. “In any case, that is Russia,” she stated.

Bargains and freebies are highly effective attracts right here. The Soviet interval—the place foodstuffs have been typically low cost however in brief provide—and the financial hardships of the 1990s have conditioned many Russians to pounce on a great deal. A stagnant economic system has left common disposable incomes caught round $500 a month, and Ms. Koshkina stated the free pizza would assist her put apart a bit of cash from her wage working at a piercing and tattoo parlor. “Who doesn’t need free meals?” she stated.

Social-media campaigns have grow to be a staple of entrepreneurs seeking to generate on-line buzz—and, on this case, flip folks into lifelong strolling commercials. However the efforts can go awry.


for instance, pulled a


marketing campaign with the hashtag #McDStories in 2012 after customers used it to complain in regards to the firm.

A spokesman for Domino’s Pizza Inc., the U.S.-based proprietor of the Domino’s Pizza model, stated the Russian franchisee had been overwhelmed by the response, receiving extra candidates in days than it had anticipated in months.

A Domino’s Pizza outlet in Moscow.

A Domino’s Pizza outlet in Moscow.


Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg Information

U.S. fast-food manufacturers poured into Russia after the Soviet Union collapsed and shortly gained reputation in a rustic the place folks had grown used to standing in line for fundamental foodstuffs. The McDonald’s that opened on Moscow’s Pushkin Sq. in 1990 attracted lengthy traces and later grew to become the chain’s most visited outlet world-wide. Domino’s first opened an outlet in Russia in 1998, and grasp franchisee

DP Eurasia

NV now has greater than 100 eating places, predominantly in Moscow.

Now, manufacturers equivalent to

Yum Manufacturers

KFC and

Restaurant Manufacturers Worldwide

unit Burger King are widespread even on the streets of far-flung Siberian cities. They’re going through a crowd of competitors from native fast-food firms and companies that ship orders from eating places positioned by way of apps on smartphones.

Domino’s introduced the launch of its tattoo promotion—named “Domino’s Without end”—on its web page on VKontakte, the Russian equal of


on Aug. 31. The circumstances have been minimal: Candidates ought to put up a photograph on social media of an actual tattoo in a visual place with the hashtag #dominosforever. They’d obtain a certificates permitting them to obtain 100 free pizzas a 12 months of any measurement for 100 years, the corporate stated.

Russians hurried to tattoo parlors. Tattoos in Russia have lengthy been related to criminals, who’ve used them to depict standing within the underworld. However lately, they’ve grow to be a part of a broad assimilation of American hipster tradition that features craft beer, skateboards and boutique barbershops.

Many opted for the easy domino of the corporate’s emblem, which tattoo artist Mr. Gonyshev stated he supplied for two,000 rubles, or round $30, and took about 10 minutes to ink.

Others wished it labored into compositions. Mr. Gonyshev inked a cuffed hand holding the emblem with the phrase “Prisoner of Freebie,” riffing on a traditional “Prisoner of Love” tattoo design. Others put them on pizza slices, skateboards or pizza containers carried by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

On Sept. three, because the images piled up on social media, the corporate tightened the principles: The primary 350 folks to put up images of their tattoos, which needs to be no less than 2 centimeters in measurement, would obtain 100 medium-size pizzas a 12 months.

The subsequent morning, the corporate posted an image of a giant cease signal with a message calling an abrupt halt to the promotion, sparking the last-minute rush. Domino’s later stated 381 folks certified free of charge pizza within the 4 days or in order that the promotion was operating.

At his parlor in Moscow, Mr. Gonyshev, 29, stated he tried to steer the scholars to not add the tattoos, as a result of it wasn’t clear they’d qualify for the free pizza. He stated they replied that the emblem was fairly cool and went forward anyway.

Ayrat Demenkov, 25, stated he had already made a down fee at his favourite parlor when the promotion was known as off, however Domino’s informed him he may beat the deadline.

The courier and chef stated he’s nonetheless getting used to the small domino on the surface of his proper forearm, the place it sits between a sketch of a hooded sweatshirt and a screaming demon. He additionally has robots and Japanese animation in his ink assortment.

“I gained’t get uninterested in it,” he stated, of his plentiful pizza provide. “Meals is sacred, and I’d do it once more if there was a promotion for beer…or wine…positively with whiskey.”

Ms. Koshkina stated she is aware of precisely what she desires on her first pizza: beef, spicy salami, onions and jalapeño peppers.

However she’s not so certain the domino fairly works together with her different 9 tattoos based mostly on Japanese artwork or sketches she made herself.

“It does stick out a bit,” she stated. “I’ve already considered including one thing to it, you understand, to spice it up a bit.”

Write to James Marson at and Thomas Grove at

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