It was arguably one of the riskiest marketing campaigns of all time — so how, exactly, did Domino’s get its “Oh Yes We Did” campaign, which touted a revamp of pizza by admitting the previous version was terrible?

“We had to do something” because sales were so bad, said Russell Weiner, chief marketing officer, speaking at Ad Age’s IDEA Conference today. “And we had the right people in the right situation and the right agency.”

But perhaps the most interesting reason was that Mr. Weiner & Co. were pitching the campaign to a company CEO who, unbeknownst to anyone else, was leaving the company. In approving the campaign, he arguably put his legacy at stake. And President Patrick Doyle, who assumed the CEO post March 7, continued to support the effort once getting the nod.

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