Noid

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The Noid
The Noid Dominos.png
The Noid as he appears in a 1980s commercial for Domino's Pizza
First appearance1986
Created byGroup 243[1]
Voiced byPons Maar[2]
Information
GenderMale
OccupationRuining pizza

The Noid is an advertising character for Domino's Pizza created in the 1980s.[3] Clad in a red, skin-tight, rabbit-eared body suit with a black N inscribed in a white circle on his chest, the Noid was a physical manifestation of all the challenges inherent in getting a pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less.[citation needed] Though persistent, his efforts were repeatedly thwarted.

History[edit]

The Noid was created in 1986 by Group 243, the advertising agency of record for Domino's Pizza.[citation needed] Group 243 hired Will Vinton Studios to sketch the Noid and animate the commercials.[1][4][5][6] 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." The character was voiced by Pons Maar.[2]

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.[7]

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.

Decline[edit]

30 minute guarantee[edit]

Starting in 1979, 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.[citation needed]

After several accidents and one death allegedly caused by the 30 Minute Guarantee policy,[8] Domino's Pizza was sued for many millions of dollars in damages in several cases dating to the 1980s. In 1993, after a jury awarded more than $78 million to a woman injured when a Domino's delivery driver ran a red light, Domino's announced the 30 Minute Guarantee promotions were terminated.[9]

Kenneth Lamar Noid[edit]

On January 30, 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid, a mentally ill man who thought the ad campaign was a personal attack on himself, entered a Domino's restaurant in Chamblee, Georgia armed with a .357 Magnum and held two employees hostage for over five hours.[10] After telling the employees that Domino's owner Tom Monaghan had stolen his name, he forced them to call Domino's headquarters and demand $100,000 and a white limousine as getaway transportation.[10] After offering to exchange one hostage for a copy of The Widow's Son, Noid reneged on his offer after a police officer brought him the book.[10] Noid eventually became hungry and forced the employees to make him two special pizzas and a salad.[10] While Noid ate the pizzas with his gun in his lap, the hostages escaped.[10] Noid surrendered to the police shortly after.[11] After the incident, Police Chief Reed Miller told reporters, "He's paranoid."[12] 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.[13][14] Noid spent time in a mental institution, but committed suicide in 1995.[15] This incident has been insinuated to have caused Domino's Pizza to discontinue advertising using the Noid as their mascot,[16] though this has been rejected by the company and the advertisers.[17]

Return of the Noid[edit]

Domino's brought the Noid back for a limited run of 1,000 T-shirts in December 2009.[18] 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,[19] 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.[20]

In June 2016, Spooky Pinball LLC announced the release of their new licensed pinball machine, Domino's Spectacular Pinball Adventure[21] 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.

In August 2017, a fan made sequel to Yo! Noid was created for the New Jam City 2017 game jam.[22][23]

The Noid can be seen briefly in the background of a 2017 Domino's ad.[24]

References in popular culture[edit]

The Noid has been referred to in popular culture, including two episodes of Family Guy (an altercation with Mayor West in the episode "Deep Throats" and vomiting into a toilet while Bill Cosby holds his ears in the episode "Peter's Sister"), in two episodes of 30 Rock,[25][26] 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.[27] The Noid is referenced by the Rooster Teeth card based party game ”Million Dollars, But” in a card included in the 1980s theme pack. The Noid can be seen on a napkin in the 1990 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.[28]. A new version of The Noid was created in the video game Dark Souls for the Polygon video series Monster Factory, created by Justin and Griffin McElroy. [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b John, Brownlee. "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". Co.Design. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Higgins, Chris. "6 Obscure Facts About the Noid". Mental Floss. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ 360, Studio. "An Oral History of the Noid: A Tale of Pizza, Guns, and Madness". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  4. ^ "The rise and fall of The Noid". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". 10 July 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  6. ^ "A Magical World of Clay". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (January 25, 1988). "CBS Plans 'Noids' Cartoon Series". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  8. ^ Mikkelson, David (July 21, 2014). "End of Domino's Pizza Delivery Guarantee". Snopes.com. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Janofsky, Michael (December 22, 1993). "Domino's Ends Fast-Pizza Pledge After Big Award to Crash Victim". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e Betzold, Michael (February 1, 1989). "Domino's can't avoid Mr. Noid". Detroit Free Press.
  11. ^ "Business Notes: Advertising Characters". TIME. 1989-02-13. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
  12. ^ "Noid irked by 'Avoid the Noid' pizza commercials". UPI. January 31, 1989.
  13. ^ "Paranoid Noid is Not Guilty Due to Insanity". Deseret News. August 23, 1989. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "Noid to get mental treatment". UPI. August 23, 1989. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  15. ^ "Kenneth Lamar Noid". Tallahassee Democrat. February 26, 1995. p. 18. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  16. ^ "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". Co.Design.
  17. ^ "A Void: The Noid - Studio 360". Studio 360 PRI.
  18. ^ "biz.dominos.com - biz.dominos.com". www.noidtshirt.com. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  19. ^ "Domino's Pizza AVOID THE NOID!".
  20. ^ Rebecca Marx (9 August 2011). "Domino's Digs up the Noid for One Week Only". Fork in the Road.
  21. ^ "Spooky Pinball's Dominos Pizza Pinball Pictures Released". Pinball Supernova. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  22. ^ "Yo Noid! Was Way Ahead of its Time". itch.io. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  23. ^ Devore, Jordan (August 4, 2017). "Someone made a Yo! Noid sequel and it's shockingly good". Destructoid. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  24. ^ "Domino's Piece of the Pie Rewards TV Commercial". iSpot.tv. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  25. ^ "Avoid the Noid!". TV Fanatic. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
  26. ^ "Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing Whisky". Springfield! Springfield!. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  27. ^ "Episode 139 - Enter The Noid (9/7/17) - Chapo Trap House on Patreon". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  28. ^ https://www.reddit.com/r/TMNT/comments/anzovt/at_first_i_was_like_woah_its_the_noid_on_donnies/
  29. ^ "Monster Factory: What If Dark Souls Were Made Of Pizza?". Polygon. Retrieved 22 August 2019.