We've finally seen it all. Over in the U.S. Dominos have started paving over potholes in the name of pizza quality. They even have a website dedicated to the cause.
It's called Paving For Pizza and it not only explains the project, but also allows Americans to nominate their town for paving.
Here's the all-caps explainer from the site:
"POTHOLES, CRACKS, AND BUMPS IN THE ROAD CAN CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO YOUR PIZZA DURING THE DRIVE HOME FROM DOMINO’S. WE CAN’T STAND BY AND LET YOUR CHEESE SLIDE TO ONE SIDE, YOUR TOPPINGS GET UN-TOPPED, OR YOUR BOXES GET FLIPPED. SO WE’RE HELPING TO PAVE IN TOWNS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO SAVE YOUR GOOD PIZZA FROM THESE BAD ROADS.
So far the project has resulted in 203 potholes being filled across the USA. With asphalt, not searing hot cheese, just to be clear.
There's also an interactive widget with a 'pot hole impact meter' that shows how badly pizza can bounce around in a box.
Despite how amusing the whole thing is, the initiative is undoubtedly a good cause. Potholes are getting filled and the roads are becoming safer for everyone, not just pizza.
The city planner of Mildford, Delaware had this to to say about it — "We appreciated the extra Paving For Pizza funds to stretch our street repair budget as we addresses more potholes than usual."
But there's no getting around the overt marketing at play here. Each pothole is branded with the Dominos logo and the phrase, "Oh yes we did!"
The whole thing is reminiscent of the 'Fizz Ed' episode of Daria, where Lawndale High received some much-needed cash from a soft drink sponsor in exchanged for some drink machines and some "tasteful" advertising in the school. It wound up looking like this:
Paving For Pizza doesn't seem to be a once-off publicity stunt — town nominations are still open and that branded asphalt isn't going anywhere anytime soon. So it really raises the question of whether a line should be drawn between community service and marketing. And how far is too far?