“The Noid” was the Domino’s Pizza’s Mascot in the 1980s. It was meant to be an anti-pizza terrorist whose job was to ruin the pizza by whatever means. The ad campaign by Domino’s launched an obnoxious character which soon became the most hated mascot in the history of business. It was an odd little gremlin, clad in a red suit with rabbit-like ears, purposefully to annoy the viewer. Interestingly that’s how they came up with the name Noid after Annoyed.
The Mascot could be see doing everything in its power to delay the pizza, making it arrive cold, crushed and spoilt. The campaign revolved around the slogan “Avoid the Noid” and making people believe that Domino’s Pizza was “Noid-Proof”
It first appeared in the 1986 but quickly grabbed attention of the masses (though not in the good sense) that it spread like fire. Soon it was seen everywhere ranging from cartoon series, video games, and especially the modern day entertainment.
In 1988, the media giant CBS planned to launch a cartoon series based on the aberrant mascot called “The Noids” but it never culminated in a show. It had to be scrapped because people believed that it was merely an advertising ploy and Noid would be a bad influence on their kids.
In 1989, Domino’s released a computer game for a greater impact of their advertising campaign. It was called “Avoid the Noid”. The objective of the game was to deliver the pizza in 30 minutes (as promised by Domino’s) in an apartment building which was infested with the “Noids”, some of which were armed with pizza-seeking missiles and water balloons. However, the game turned out extremely horrible.
Well, the gaming world of the obnoxious character didn’t just end here. In 1990, gaming major Capcom launched another video game called the Yo! Noid, adding to the popularity of the already famous (rather infamous) mascot. This game actually gained popularity, it was surprisingly thorough and difficult – probably just because it was an entirely different game (remake of Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru: a Nintendo game) and the Noids were just added on later. In this game, believe it or not “The Noid” is actually the hero, who uses his magic yo-yo to fight his way through the streets of New York to finally confront Mr.Green (another Noid but green). This game actually has some fan following.
Appearance in TV and films
The Noid’s fame wasn’t just limited to video games, it made quite a few appearances in modern-day entertainment. Some of them include a squabble in the Family Guy episode “Deep Throats,” in a segment of Michael Jackson: Moonwalker in an episode of 30 rock and in two of the episodes of The Simpsons. The Noid is referred to The Goldbergs (set in the 1980s), when protagonist, 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 same.
Hostage and Suicide
During all this fame of Noid, a person named Kenneth Lamar Noid, a 22 year old from Geogria, Atlanta took it personally. He believed that all this time Domino’s Pizza was targeting him and clearly making fun of him in their commercials. He got so annoyed that on 30 January 1989 he stormed into a local Domino’s Pizza store armed with a gun and took two people hostage. He demanded $10,000, a car, and surprisingly a copy of the Window’s Son, which talked about secret societies.
Not just that, he also forced the two people to keep making pizzas for him.
The police finally managed to control the situation but on interrogation he confided to the police that Domino’s Pizza founder, Tom Monaghan often went into his apartment and rummage through his things. He was declared innocent due to the reason of his insanity and was passed onto the Mental Health institute.
However, the had a tragic ending. The mental health system was of no help. Kenneth couldn’t get over the fact of being targeted by the Domino’s and finally committed suicide in 1995.
Demise of Noid: the mascot and the person
During all this drama Domino’s became alerted of the growing hatred and criticism of it’s mascot, Noid. It quietly disappeared to get away from all the negative attention it was getting. It resurfaced briefly on it’s 25th birthday in 2011 for an online campaign but that was the end of it.