From 1986 to 1995, Domino´s pizzeria had a mascot called “Noid”, which resulted in one of the most remembered games of Nintendinho in 1990, the Yo! night, developed by Capcom, which was an adaptation of a Japanese game that had levels with the same level design, but with different graphics and sprites, since the original had a more “ninja” theme, while Yo! Noid was more “New Yorker”.
The Noid mascot became well known in the United States, and the Nintendinho game helped to popularize it worldwide. Even in the Michael Jackson movie, Moonwalker, the character appeared. However, have you ever wondered why he disappeared so suddenly?
A Domino’s appeared in the 1960s, but in 1984 they thought they needed to increase the popularity of the franchise and they launched a promotion that became famous all over the world: “the consumer received the pizza at home in 30 minutes or he didn’t pay”. To help popularize this promotion, Noid was created around the same time, being a kind of man dressed in red and with teeth.
The idea came from Will Vinton, who said he wanted him to represent the “physical manifestation of all the challenges of delivering a pizza in 30 minutes”, and the first commercials featuring the character appeared in 1986, becoming an instant success. Noid’s analogy with Domino’s was analogous to that of McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald.
However, in 1989, on a Monday, a 22-year-old man named Kenneth Lamar NOID entered a Domino’s pizzeria in Georgia, armed with a magnum revolver. He held two employees hostage for more than five hours, and he told police he wanted $10,000 and a getaway car, plus a copy of the novel “The Widow’s Son.”
After preventive detention, police investigations concluded that he believed that Domino’s marketing campaign reached him directly, and within his not very favorable mental health, he understood that the advertisements were made exclusively to reach him. Diagnosed with insanity, he could not stay in prison, and was sent to the Georgia Institute of Mental Health.
Even with the tragedy, Domino’s continued with its mascot and commercials, something that continued to bother Kenneth Noid, who was still convinced that Noid made his life miserable. Seeing no alternative, he took his own life in his apartment, and the pizzeria stopped using the mascot immediately afterward.
With information from Food & Wine