DiGiorno scores points trolling Papa John’s on Twitter

The frozen pizza maker has a history of taunting Papa John’s on social media. After Papa John’s complained that the NFL protests were hurting sales, DiGiorno pounced.

One organization’s crisis is another’s sweet opportunity.

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter saw his stock price plummet after saying NFL protests were hurting pizza sales. While outsiders derided the pizza delivery chain for its comments, one rival pizza maker decided to troll Papa John’s on Twitter.

It started with this tweet:

Eater wrote:

It isn’t exactly clear that the above tweet is referring to Papa John’s. It could be about any pizza competitor, or it could just be an instance of DiGiorno boasting about its product. Frozen pies don’t have the best reputation, but DiGiorno has long claimed it can stand up to the big delivery chains.

The next tweet made DiGiorno’s target clear:

Then the gloves came off:

Other Twitter users seemed to appreciate DiGiorno’s style:

Papa John’s responded with its own Twitter dig: a change to its bio.

Business Insider reported:

On Thursday, Papa John’s tweeted “#NewTwitterBio.”

The new bio: “Frozen pizza = the pizza equivalent of a participation trophy,” a clear jab at DiGiorno.

The “participation trophy” insult will likely resonate with many of Papa John’s supporters on the right who have rallied around the chain after Schnatter’s comments. The idea of “participation trophies” are a common criticism, especially from the right, often used to criticize political correctness and millennials.

DiGiorno had a comeback for that:

DiGiorno also brought up some old gaffes from Papa John’s, including a bungled delivery to rap star Iggy Azalea and an incident where the Papa John’s Twitter feed appeared to plagiarize DiGiorno’s feed.

Eater wrote:

It seems that on June 22, 2016, DiGiorno tweeted, “Keep your friends close and your pizza closer. #WednesdayWisdom” Then, three days later, Papa John’s posted the same tweet, save for the hashtag. DiGiorno followed up with this sick burn:

The dust may be starting to settle, but DiGiorno isn’t letting the matter go. It has pinned the tweet that started the twitter spat to the top of its feed. It also hasn’t shied away from claiming victory this morning:

Here are some lessons for brand managers from this Twitter war:

1. Be ready to finish what you start

DiGiorno was ready for the war of tweets it started, as was clear from its rapid response to Papa John’s new Twitter bio. The organization also has published guidelines for how employees and representatives should interact on social media.

If your framework isn’t in place, or your employees aren’t prepared and empowered to speak for you, your Twitter spat will go poorly, and you’ll end up deleting your posts—like Papa John’s did—and hoping no one notices.

2. Stay authentic to your voice

DiGiorno has a history of sassy Twitter attacks and sly digs at competitors on its Twitter channel. It knows how to push the right buttons because it has decided that such stunts are part of its brand identity. If you aren’t prepared to make animosity and snark part of your identity (and really get good at it), maybe you should stick to posting pictures of cute dogs.

3. Everything is fair game

Twitter bios and past tweets were all part of this back-and-forth exchange. Savvy brand managers should check every facet of their social media footprint as they communicate with consumers. If there are things in your media history you would rather keep hidden, it’s best to stay out of the snarky social media game.

Who won this Twitter exchange in your opinion, PR Daily readers?


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