Pizza Brands are Making Social Media Marketing Fun Again

We like to imagine that the marketing teams behind various pizza companies work in glorious utopias filled with thin crust and deep dish goodness.  They certainly have an easier time engaging audiences and getting people excited about their products than the teams over at JP Morgan Chase and Bing.

Lately, major pizza brands have been flexing their creative muscles in an effort stand out from the competition. They’re no longer satisfied with kitschy promotions and hyper-intense cheese footage. The result is marketing at its finest.

Pizza Hut’s OkCupid Pioneering

Pizza Hut took social media contests to the next level yesterday by creating an OKCupid account. The brand is looking for “The One,” and will offer free pizza for life to their perfect match.

pizzahutokcupidEvery day, fans tweet marriage proposals at @pizzahut. We’re flattered, and we’re into it. But in our 55 years waiting for The One, we’d always pictured the big moment to be a little more… Great.

Fans who want to commit to Pizza Hut for life must send a Vine or Instagram video with their most creative proposal using #CommitToGreatness. The top three proposals will take a trip for Pizza Hut to get to know them better. One person out of the three will win free pizza for life.

This is brilliant for two reasons:

  • Pizza is a much-beloved food item in American culture. From kids birthday parties to college tailgates to family dinners, its popularity spans all demographics. Pizza Hut knows this, and is capitalizing on that popularity with its “proposal campaign.”
  • This is a social media campaign that utilizes Instagram, Twitter, and Vine, but it’s also one of the first times that OKCupid has been used by marketers. It’s a decent contest idea, but the brand new platform is breathing fresh air into it. It’s a wildly out-of-the-box way to compete with all of the other Valentine’s Day contests on social media this week.

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DiGiorno’s Twitter Domination

Maybe Pizza Hut had to switch platforms because DiGiorno already owns the pizza-sphere on Twitter. Actually, if it weren’t for Taco Bell, DiGiorno might be the best food brand on the microblogging site.

I wouldn’t call DiGiorno’s sense of humor, “highbrow,” but I would call it topical. It first unexpectedly stole the spotlight from Carrie Underwood in The Sound of Music with cheesy live tweets (forgive me, writing Gods!) about the plot and performance. We’re talking posts like “Can’t believe pizza isn’t one of her favorite things.”

Because it was such a random event for DiGiorno to newsjack – Broadway and pizza aren’t as close as, say… football and beer – the pizza company’s account skyrocketed to popularity. Live tweeting through the Super Bowl was a given, and they’ve since been posting quips about the Olympics these past weeks.

Like Pizza Hut, this is just as fascinating for marketers:

  • DiGiorno is catering to the lowest common denominator on Twitter. When users start looking to follow branded accounts, DiGiorno will be one of the highest recommended. The humor is childish, unoffensive, and occasionally witty. Like pizza, it has mass appeal.
  • DiGiorno is in it for the long haul. There are usually a few dumb hashtags trending each day like #OlympicMovies and #BadBroadway where Twitter users try to be funny. All DiGiorno has to do is post a couple of tweets with whatever is popular and get hundreds of replies. They’ve also done real-time marketing three times now, so they can easily cover (read: newsjack) almost any major event.

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It’s fun watching brands let go and embrace the dorkiness of the Internet. Pizza Hut and DiGiorno know that pizza is worshiped online, they just have to woo the public into loving their specific brands. The people have already professed their love, these companies are just responding in kind.

About the author

Amanda Dodge