DiGiorno takes advantage of viral Little Caesars video

The frozen pizza brand threw barbs at the takeout chain when the latter lagged in responding to a tweet making the rounds online and in headlines. Here’s what communicators can learn.

DiGiorno’s social media team showed it was “hot ‘n’ ready” to spar with Little Caesars over a viral video.

On Saturday, a Little Caesars customer tweeted the following video, which made it look as though a shopping cart full of DiGiorno pizza boxes were waiting to be baked and passed off as the chain’s own pies:

Eater reported:

The video quickly went viral, according to People, and was fueled by all-around best person on the internet Chrissy Teigen, who retweeted the video and quipped, “the only little caesars I wanna go to.” Because the rule of being a #brand is that every trending social media topic is an opportunity to sell something, DiGiorno jumped on the bandwagon and tweeted “Same.”

DiGiorno’s social media team quickly retweeted the video with a quip:

Moreover, it took Little Caesars until Sunday to respond to the viral video—which brought DiGiorno to dish out sass, along with its pepperoni:

In a departure from the brand’s motto, DiGiorno seized the opportunity to tell consumers they could have both delivery and DiGiorno:

Enjoying its moments in the digital limelight, DiGiorno’s online team continued to spread snark in other Twitter threads:

The mystery was soon solved—but not until the interplay between DiGiorno and Little Caesars garnered even more buzz.

A spokesperson for Little Caesars told People:

“Of course, Little Caesars only serves freshly baked pizzas made from fresh dough. We think this is probably just a funny coincidence, but are investigating.”

People then updated its article with another statement from Little Caesars:

The representative for Little Caesars tells PEOPLE that upon further investigation, the person in the video was identified as a Kmart employee and “no DiGiorno pizzas were baked or served at this Little Caesars location,” they said in a statement. “On that day, K-Mart received a few complaints from customers about having purchased expired DiGiorno pizzas from that location, and because it was so close to closing time, the K-Mart manager directed his employee to temporarily store them in a cooler adjacent to the Little Caesars location for disposal in the morning.”

Though there was an explanation for the video, the social media team’s slow response still dinged the Little Caesars brand image.

Inc. contributor Chris Matyszczyk wrote:

In short, then, not a good advertisement for Kmart. And not so great for DiGiorno, either. Frozen pizzas expire? That’s very painful news for many students around America.

And as for Little Caesars. Did no one there realize that someone might come along and video this frightful sight?

Being video vigilant is a must these days.

The story exemplifies the viral nature of video content—as well as a lesson that a quick response on social media is imperative. It also highlights Little Caesars’ struggle with online customer service (not uncommon for brand managers).

The pizza chain’s Twitter account is packed with conversations such as this:

Though the company’s social media team responds to consumers, it’s a copy-and-paste tweet that directs customers to fill out a form, which is then presumably rerouted to the franchise in question.

The strategy has its problems, including asking complaining customers to do more work to get responses and fixes for their problems.

This customer had to tweet at Little Caesars twice to get a response, highlighting again the chain’s slow response time online:

Making the customer press Little Caesars’ social media team about whether he’d hear back from a representative doesn’t build trust.

Apparently, filling out the form doesn’t guarantee a satisfactory response from customer service, either:

In this conversation, Little Caesars has to have the badly cut pizza pointed out:

PR Daily readers, what do you think of the exchanges between DiGiorno and Little Caesars?


PR Daily News Feed

Sign up to receive the latest articles from PR Daily directly in your inbox.