Domino's claims it is planning to use reindeer to deliver pizza in Hokkaido, apparently as a means of coping with what is forecast as an especially harsh winter. A video on the company's YouTube page shows a reindeer in training. (We have seen more willing animals; at one point the deer seems to try to make a break for it, and at another, the delivery unit topples from its back.)
According to a release issued in Japanese, Domino's plans to introduce the furry couriers in December. It said it is working with experts to ensure that they come to no harm.
Using the festive animals would be a lower-tech, but no less novel, approach to service-as-branding by the company. Earlier this month, Domino's delivered its first pizza by drone to a home near Auckland, New Zealand.
Cuteness goes an especially long way in Japan, so while the reindeer idea is clearly a gimmick, it's likely to help give the brand a seasonal edge. Domino's is not the first to cook up outlandish delivery schemes though. In 2015, Japan’s very own Pizza-la teamed up with Nissan to deliver its products to punters in the snow with the help of the X-Trail SUV.
We will take the deer, as long as they don't become belligerent and the pizza arrives intact.