How Digiorno got Pizza-Rolled: A David and Goliath Story

How Digiorno got Pizza-Rolled: A David and Goliath Story


Football Season is back, and with it the ever ubiquitous frozen pizza commercials. After a weekend of couch quarterbacking and gourmet pizza microwaving, I thought it would be interesting to look at how a few of the top frozen pizza brands compared to each other on social media.  Specifically, this case study utilized the new Social Metrics feature of Scraawl to look at how the top frozen brand Digiorno’s social media efforts compared to that of the smaller more budget conscious brand Totino’s. As you will see, the results proved quite interesting. If your brand isn’t positioned as the top dog in your market, but wants to punch above its weight, the insights below are a must read.


Digiorno is Absolutely a Goliath 


Digiorno Social Metrics September 2016

Digiorno Social Metrics September 2016

For those who may not know, Digiorno has a reputation for being a leader in not only frozen pizza sales, but also in social media engagement. In fact, Hubspot ranked them in the top 10 brands on Twitter for 2016. They’re also the largest frozen pizza brand on the market, with estimated sales of over $1 billion so far this year. Compare that to only a little over $370 million in sales for Totino’s. Digiorno’s success stems from a penchant for witty, timely, and sometimes outright bizarre posts that often piggy back off already trending hashtags. True to form, as you can see in the chart above, Digiorno was the overall leader in terms of exposure for our data set, with the most overall posts, engagement, and impressions for this period.


Totino’s Social Metrics September 2016


Now let’s compare that to Totino’s Social Metrics shown in the graph above. At quick glance, it would seem Totino’s is woefully behind in terms of activity and reach. Yet if we look closer, you’ll notice one key metric is quite similar between the two, and that is engagement. Scraawl defines engagement on Twitter as the sum of all replies, retweets, mentions, and likes of a brand’s post over a reporting period. With some quick napkin math, we can see that although Totino’s is only posting one tenth of the volume of Digiorno, they are still getting roughly 80% of the engagement from their posts. Which leads to the conclusion…


Totino’s is Running a More Impactful Social Media Campaign 


Basic Statistics Digiorno and Totino’s September 2016


It’s clear from these basic metrics that Totino’s is getting way more bang for their buck in terms of engagement per post, and we can confirm this using some of our basic statistics. For instance, in the charts above, check out the Top Words. Pizza is an obvious one given the query, but Rolls is specific to the Totino’s brand, and Bank and Heist references a viral video that the brand put out. Similarly, the Top Mentioned handle is actually @Totinos.


Top 10 Retweets Digiorno and Totino’s September 2016


If you still have any lingering doubt, reference the Top 10 retweets for this data set shown in the table above. As you can see, the top 7 retweets reference Totino’s. So, this begs the question, what exactly is Totino’s doing that is so impactful?


What’s the Difference? 


Top posts Totino’s September 2016


There a number of factors going on here, but it would seem the biggest is that Totino’s messaging comes across as much more conversational. People tend to engage with brands when they feel like they’re having a conversation, not being advertised to. As you can see in Totino’s top posts shown above, they have built a whole persona based on the character Pete Zaroll and his zany adventures. Furthermore, Totino’s has done a great job leveraging trending hashtags to piggy back off of, such as their post about the new #iOS10.  Now compare that to Digiorno’s efforts.


Top posts Digiorno September 2016


Digiorno has been pushing their #RisetoTheOccasion campaign hard, and while it’s engagement is relatively high, it’s not leveraging preexisting social trends. In fact, you’ll find the hashtag on virtually every traditional advertisement Digiorno has put out. This is obvious when we compare the number of retweets of each Brand’s top posts. Furthermore, a majority of Digiorno posts are very specific to a product line they are promoting, i.e. traditional advertising in a non-traditional medium. The fact is, 2 of the top 3 posts from Digiorno were a result of a key influencer happening to post an ad with their slogan and his face Photoshopped over the pizza. The engagement resulted from the back and forth of him tweeting and asking not to be sued. To their credit, the response they only “serve” pizza was great, but it was lucky on their part this blogger happened to use their advertisement and tweet at them.


Why This Matters to Your Brand 


Overall, the above should illustrate that if you know how to entertain and communicate with your customers in a conversational tone, you can really expand your engagement exponentially. To that end, leveraging existing social trends while also identifying and engaging with key influencers is a winning formula. A quick word of warning though, before using trending hashtags, do some background on the context of the hashtag. Digiorno made the mistake of piggy backing off #WhyIStayed back in 2014 without realizing it related to domestic violence. You can imagine the fallout, and perhaps it’s why they are so reluctant to use organically trending hashtags today.

Of course, Scraawl provides excellent tools for identifying both key influencers as well as trending hashtags relevant to your brand. If you would like to learn more about the above study, or would like to learn how to apply these lessons to your own Brand, please feel free to reach out to me directly, and keep on Scraawling!


This article summarizes the use case discussed in the “The Social Media Analytics Tool None of Your Competitors Know About”  webinar hosted by Echo Analytics Group on September 22, 2016. The views expressed here are those of the author and in no way represent the views of Intelligent Automation, Inc., nor do they constitute an endorsement of any products mentioned in this article.

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