The Noid as he appears in a 1980s commercial for Domino's Pizza
|Created by||Mathew Thronton|
|Voiced by||Pons Maar|
The Noid (voiced by Pons Maar) 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 (becoming annoyed—"a noid") inherent in getting a pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less. Though persistent, his efforts were repeatedly thwarted.
The Noid was created in 1986 by Group 243, the advertising agency for Domino's Pizza, and was animated by Will Vinton Studios. The voice-over announcer was Andre Stojka. The creative team of Ernie Perich (creative director), George Greven (art director), Steve Goldberg (writer), Gary Bastien (art director), Tom Masters (art director) Dave Larson (producer), Mathew Thornton (producer) and Phil Kneesi (writer) created the character and the television campaigns. The Noid character design was chosen by Christopher Baker and Brian Baker, sons of Scott Baker, master franchisor for the European market at the time, from a collection of prototypes. Commercials that featured the character used the slogan "Avoid the Noid."
In 1988 a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Noids was planned by CBS that would feature 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 (video game). 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 made a few appearances in modern-day entertainment, 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.
Controversy and decline
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 pizza 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 paranoid." 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, and 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.
During July 2016, the Noid has been referenced/mentioned in, and seen in, some Domino's commercials, as part of their new USA "Pizza Payback" campaign.
During September and October 2016, the Noid was also referenced in some Domino's commercials.
- 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 8 September 2015.
- "Avoid the Noid!". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 2009-08-02.
- "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.