How Domino’s Digitally Blended Itself With Cheers for Its New Ad

An exclusive look at the spot's subtle production magic

Norm Peterson from Cheers is seen in a Domino
George Wendt's Cheers character, Norm, was digitally melded into a new location via body double and original footage. CPB
Headshot of David Griner

When Norm Peterson walks into an establishment, he expects a certain level of recognition. But unlike at his beloved watering hole, Cheers, he finds himself struggling with anonymity when he enters a Domino’s.

There’s a perfectly good reason for that, at least in the pizza chain’s new ad from agency CPB. Norm hasn’t used Domino’s Pie Pass, which lets you check in when you arrive for a pickup order, letting the store know you’re there and enabling you to skip the line.

While the ad has a simple premise in its twist on the iconic shouts of “Norm!” whenever he’d arrive at Cheers, actually making it happen required more detailed work many might imagine.

First, let’s take a look at the ad:

Created by CPB, the ad was brought to life through several production partnerships, including with New York visual effects house Artjail.

The team watched all 275 episodes of Cheers to find the perfect footage of Norm entering and approaching the bar. But then he had to be isolated from the footage and melded with a body double to pull off the effect of him ordering a pizza at a Domino’s counter.

The Cheers-esque Domino’s location was, of course, created specifically for the ad by CPB and production house Arts & Sciences. The goal was to have an entryway that was reminiscent of the show’s location while also making the ordering experience look like a modern Domino’s.

In the behind-the-scenes video below, you can see how the location was constructed and set up for Norm’s invisible visit. Then the digital effects work begins in earnest, removing Norm from the original footage and ensuring smooth transitions as the camera changes angles.

Here are some stills comparing Norm’s entrances in the original episode and the ad:

CPB

The spot continues two recent themes in Domino’s advertising: Fanning the flames of nostalgia and highlighting pickup rather than delivery.

On the nostalgia front, we’ve seen Domino’s and CPB created ads in recent years riffing on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Risky Business. But the work supporting pizza pickup has extended into some pretty fascinating areas beyond traditional ads—most notably with the brand’s “Paving for Pizza” project that offered to repair potholes in cities nationwide so fans could get their carry-out orders home safely.

CREDITS:

Agency: CPB
Executive Creative Director: Tom Adams
Creative Directors: Kelly Mccormick, D’arcy O’neill
Art Directors: Mike Murphy, Jake Roberts
Copywriters: Nick Huey, Dylan Cimo
Design Director: Adam Skalecki
Senior Designer: Taryn Kealani
Head Of Production: Dan Corken
Senior Producer: Rachel Noonan
Group Account Director: Jacqueline Redmond
Management Supervisor: Alyssa Fitterer
Account Supervisor: Brad George
Account Manager: Meghan Childs
Project Manager: Allison Schoenback
Business Affairs Managers: Kelly Lenthe, Ann Shelton
Group Director Strategy: Courtney Loveman
Strategist: Kelly Thompson

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Lenski
Director Of Photography: Toby Irwin
Manager Partner, Executive Producer (Production Co): Marc Marrie
Executive Producer (Production Co): Mal Ward
Producer: Kristin Porter

Telecine Company: CO3
Colorist: Stefan Sonnenfeld
Senior Color Producer: Gabriel Wakeman

Editorial Company: Wild Manor
Editor: James Bedford
Executive Producer: Lennon Barnica
Producer: Kate Swenson

Mix And Sound Design Company: Lime Studios
Executive Producer: Susie Boyajan
Producer: Kayla Mashburn
Engineer & Sound Designer: Matt Miller
Assistant Engineer: Ian Connie

Finishing and VFX: Artjail
Head of 2D / Creative Director: Lee Towndrow
Lead Flame: Emily Bloom
Nuke Artists: Gerard Andal, Kyle Andal, Dayung Jo
Design Animation: Mike Foran, Juan Monasterio
Owner: Steve Mottershead
Managing Director/executive Producer: John Skeffington
Producer: Michael Brown


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: February 18, 2020 https://stage.adweek.com/agencies/how-dominos-digitally-blended-itself-with-cheers-for-its-new-ad/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT
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