Instagram case study: DiGiorno takes on takeaways with ‘Plan A’ pizza story

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Pizza maker DiGiorno followed Instagram best practices to develop a teaser video ad and Instagram Story that would encourage people to enjoy its pizza for their next get-together, resulting in an impressive lift in purchase intent.

Case study summary

• DiGiorno wanted to get customers to replace delivery pizzas with their frozen alternative
• Instagram video ad showed that enjoyment of pizza is greatest when it's straight out of the oven
• Reached 20m people with 6-point lift in purchase intent and 8-point hike in ad recall

The challenge

Through research, DiGiorno found that people use delivery pizza more often than frozen pizza for their planned occasions. To grow, DiGiorno wanted to steal occasions from delivery, but needed to find a unique, breakthrough way to showcase why straight from the oven is better and establish DiGiorno as the "Plan A" pizza for occasions (versus "Plan B" safety pizza).

The solution

Using facial recognition technology, DiGiorno conducted a social experiment to show (with science) that enjoyment of pizza is greatest when it's straight out of the oven. To promote its pizza social experiment, DiGiorno developed a teaser video ad campaign on both Instagram and Facebook.

The brand partnered with media agency Metavision, ad technology company and Facebook Marketing Partner SocialCode, PR agency Team N and creative agency Reach to develop and deliver engaging ads to the right audience.

The team used footage from the experiment to create short teaser videos for both Facebook and Instagram. The videos followed Instagram's best practices: they featured strong DiGiorno branding throughout and were developed to catch people's attention, even with the sound-off auto-play feature. The team also used this footage to create vertical video ads for Instagram Stories.

The video ads targeted a broad audience of people aged 25-54, living in the US and with pizza-related interests. The pizza maker also used purchase-based data to target lapsed and heavy buyers of DiGiorno pizza.


The results

• 6-point lift in purchase intent
• 8-point increase in ad recall
• 21 million people reached
• 23% of campaign spent on Instagram Stories

Finally, the team conducted a Facebook brand-lift study to determine the efficacy of the 3.5-week campaign. It not only reached more than 20 million people, but also achieved a 6-point lift in purchase intent and an 8-point hike in ad recall.

Jeff Hamilton, President at Nestle Foods Division, Netle USA, said: “This experiment gave us a unique insight into our belief that oven-fresh pizza helps people get more out of their occasions. We were able to learn about how, when and why moods may change in response to pizza in an exciting new way.”

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