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The Noid as he appears in a 1980s commercial for Domino's Pizza
|Voiced by||Pons Maar|
The Noid is an advertising character for Domino's Pizza created in the 1980s. Clad in a red, skin-tight, rabbit-eared body suit with a black N inscribed in a white circle, the Noid was a physical manifestation of all the challenges inherent in getting a pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less. Though persistent, his efforts were repeatedly thwarted.
In 1988 a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Noids was planned by CBS that would have featured the Noid, but the series was scrapped amid complaints that it was merely an advertising ploy and not a show for children.
As part of the advertising campaign, a computer game was released in 1989 called Avoid the Noid. The object of the game is to deliver a pizza within a half-hour time limit in an apartment building swarming with Noids (some of which are armed with pizza-seeking missiles or water balloons). The common version is version 1.0 and has CGA graphics and PC speaker sound effects, although version 1.1 also exists which added support for EGA graphics and Adlib music. In 1990, Capcom released a different video game, Yo! Noid, for the NES.
The Noid has been referenced in popular culture, including an altercation in the Family Guy episode "Deep Throats", in an episode of 30 Rock, in a segment of Michael Jackson: Moonwalker and in two episodes of The Simpsons, once as a Thanksgiving Day parade balloon in the episode "Homer vs. Dignity," and the other in person in the episode "She of Little Faith". The Noid is referred to in the 19th episode of season 2 of The Goldbergs (set in the 1980s), when Barry lands a job delivering pizzas and is told how important it is to "avoid the Noid". He is so bad at his job, the boss eventually accuses Barry of being the Noid. The Noid was also discussed extensively on the September 7th, 2017 episode of the podcast Chapo Trap House.
Controversy and decline
30 minute guarantee
Starting in 1973 Domino's Pizza had a guarantee that customers would receive their pizzas within 30 minutes of placing an order or they would receive the pizzas free until the mid-1980s when it was reduced to $3 off. This resulted in delivery drivers driving recklessly and because of this, the Noid, the embodiment of this guarantee, was reworked for the company's brand which is why the later commercials were in more suburban environments rather than a cartoony location.
Kenneth Lamar Noid
On January 30, 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid, a mentally ill man who thought the ads were a personal attack on him, held two employees of an Atlanta Domino's restaurant hostage for over five hours. After forcing them to make him a special pizza and a salad and making demands for $100,000, getaway transportation, and a copy of The Widow's Son, Noid surrendered to the police. After the incident ended, Police Chief Reed Miller offered an assessment to reporters: "He's para-Noid." Noid was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, extortion, and possession of a firearm during a crime. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Noid spent three months in a mental institution, but eventually committed suicide in 1995. This incident caused Domino's Pizza to discontinue advertising using the Noid as their mascot.
Return of the Noid
Domino's brought the Noid back for a limited run of 1,000 T-shirts in December 2009. On May 4, 2011, the Noid was brought back as a promotional figure by Domino's to be used in a campaign on their Facebook page and made a brief appearance as a stuffed toy at the end of a May 2011 commercial promoting a one-topping pizza deal. The 25th birthday of the Noid mascot was marked with the video game The Noid's Super Pizza Shootout, a tribute to Avoid the Noid.
In June 2016, Spooky Pinball LLC announced the release of their new licensed pinball machine, Domino's Spectacular Pinball Adventure prominently featuring The Noid character.
During 2016, the Noid appeared and was referenced in some Domino's commercials, as part of their USA "Pizza Payback" campaign.
The Noid was seen tattooed on the arm of a winner of shares of Domino's stock, in a commercial aired during the NFL playoffs, January 15, 2017.
The Noid can be seen at the bottom of the screen in 2017 dominos ads. He stands on the circular platform that rotates in the ad.
- Higgins, Chris. "6 Obscure Facts About the Noid". Mental Floss. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
- Boyer, Peter J. (January 25, 1988). "CBS Plans 'Noids' Cartoon Series". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
- "Avoid the Noid!". TV Fanatic. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "Business Notes: Advertising Characters". TIME. 1989-02-13. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
- "Noid muffs Domino's robbery". Chicago Sun-Times. CHAMBLEE, Ga: HighBeam Research. AP. January 31, 1989.
- "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". Co.Design.
- Domino's Pizza AVOID THE NOID! T-Shirts for St. Jude Children's Hospital | ©2009
- "Domino's Pizza AVOID THE NOID!".
- Rebecca Marx (9 August 2011). "Domino's Digs up the Noid for One Week Only". Fork in the Road.
- "Spooky Pinball's Dominos Pizza Pinball Pictures Released". Pinball Supernova. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- https://dustinbragg.itch.io/yo-noid-was-ahead-of-its-time. Missing or empty