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Milford is getting national press, thanks to a clever marketing campaign by Domino’s

“Paving for Pizza” puts the downstate town on the map in a major marketing campaign.

A pizza, not a pothole. (Photo by Flickr user T.CSH, used under a Creative Commons license)

What do you do if you’re a big restaurant chain in an increasingly localized restaurant world? You go big with marketing. IHOP sent Twitter abuzz when it announced a name-change to IHOb, with the “b” for burgers (the move was a publicity stunt — the new line of burgers is real).

Michigan-based Domino’s Pizza figured out a way to generate some hype without becoming Dobino’s: the company’s “Paving for Pizza” campaign is getting people talking. Domino’s is asking customers to nominate their town to be selected to have its potholes filled by the company — and tagged with the Domino’s logo and the line “Oh yes we did.”

To demonstrate the program, which was announced on June 11, Domino’s selected four U.S. towns ahead of its official launch to show folks they’re serious. Among those four is Milford, the Kent/Sussex town that will also be hosting its first Ladybug Festival this summer. Since the announcement, Milford has been in the news nationwide, along with the three other Paving for Pizza towns: Athens, Ga., Bartonville, Texas and Burbank, Calif.

“Potholes, cracks and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s,” the company says cheekily on its website, which even has an entertaining “Pothole Impact Meter” that shows damage done to a pizza as it bounces in the box in different road conditions.

It’s an obvious gimmick, but it’s one that really helps out the towns selected.

“This is an opportunity to get additional money to stretch our city’s limited resources,” said Eric Norenberg, Milford’s city manager, on the city’s page on pavingforpizza.com. Can’t fault that.

With Milford already selected, it might be a long shot for another Delaware town to get its streets repaired with red-white-and-blue pizza flair, but you never know. To nominate your town, click here.

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