Carrie Underwood may have delivered the big ratings for NBC Thursday night, but it was DiGiorno pizza that stole the marketing show with a barrage of tweets during the live broadcast of "The Sound of Music."
Sure, many of the brand's tweets were, um, cheesy.
But the brand gained tons of national attention by exhibiting just enough snark while avoiding embarrassing mistakes that could have come from live-tweeting a show whose plotlines included nuns and Nazi references. The strategy is not new: DiGiorno has been smack talking for a while using the hashtag #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT. But Thursday night the brand took it to the next level, gaining free media attention on sites ranging from Buzzfeed to the L.A. Times.
DiGiorno's Brand Manager Brian Linz told Ad Age it was "absolutely spontaneous."
Who runs your Twitter handle?
Our brand team works with our agency, which is Resource. They are the ones who are writing the majority of the copy.
What gave you the idea to associate the "Sound of Music" to pizza of all things?
Everyone loves pizza. It's a meal that is relaxed and casual. In this case last night, it [was] very much a relaxed, casual viewing occasion … We knew that there was going to be quite a bit of chatter about it because NBC had publicized it so much. In this case we just wanted to get in on the conversation.
Were the tweets planned in advance?
It was absolutely spontaneous. This was not an intentional campaign at all. It happened organically. What happened was our social-media writer began with a tweet that just happened to get amazing pick up. The first tweet [got] something like 550 retweets. From there he just kept going and the momentum continued to roll where we just couldn't stop.
Were you concerned at all about making gaffes while tweeting about a show that includes references to nuns and Nazis?
We always have guardrails established where No. 1 it needs to be inclusive humor. We would never want to rub someone the wrong way.
How many followers did you pick up?
It looks like probably about 4,000 (from Thursday night to Friday afternoon) … There were roughly close to 14,000 tweets from 8,000 different contributors mentioning DiGiorno … related to "The Sound of Music."