DiGiorno Pizza Taps Miranda Sings’ Alter Ego to Woo NFL Fans


Miranda Sings Colleen Evans for DiGiorno Pizza

Don’t forget DiGiorno when it comes to snack brands that have a lot riding on the Super Bowl.

The Nestle-owned frozen pizza leader won’t have a TV ad airing during the Super Bowl, but it does have an NFL-related TV commercial running on US TV at the moment—and a big football season campaign (“Make the Right Call”) that it began in the fall and will crescendo around the Big Game, and which will continue beyond Super Bowl 50 as well. Just don’t call it a Super Bowl campaign.

DiGiorno’s #maketherightcall campaign leverages Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and a handful of social media stars such as Colleen Evans (better known as her nasal-voiced alter ego, Miranda Sings, who’s also promoting the Altima for Nissan right now.

The goal: to illustrate why ordering delivery pizza on game day, or any day, is “the wrong call” for home parties or solitary snacking.

Along the way, Matthews gives “expert coaching” to his social-savvy co-stars and shows them how to make the right call: buying and heating up DiGiorno in the oven. In one GIF, for instance, he knocks the cell phone out of the hand of social media celeb DeStorm Power as he’s about to order pizza for delivery.

“We have a long-standing tag line, ‘It’s not delivery, it’s DiGiorno,’ where we go up against pizza-delivery brands that outspend us substantially,” noted Mike Niethammer, director of marketing.

DiGiorno Make the Right Call

He told brandchannel that #maketherightcall “is an extension of that: Everyone in a football game is trying to make the right call, from the players to coaches to referees. The opposite of the right call is the wrong call.”

And the wrong call, naturally, is “delivery, with mishaps—when it gets to you cold, when it shows up with the wrong toppings.”

The Super Bowl is a crucial season for every pizza brand, of course, and Niethammer said that in the two weeks before the Big Game “we sell two times more pizza than during an average week the rest of the year. So it’s critical for this period as everyone gets ready for the big game that we get off on the right foot.”

Without advertising during the Big Game or using the words “Super Bowl” in its marketing, the DiGiorno brand has forged close ties with NFL football and the Super Bowl season—but it’s careful not to be seen as ambush marketing or to step on the toes of the official Super Bowl pizza sponsor, Papa John’s, now in its fourth consecutive year in that role.

Last year, for instance, DiGiorno created a series of long-form videos with Hall of Fame quarterback and Fox Sports commentator Terry Bradshaw. DiGiorno also does heavy in-store marketing during Super Bowl season.

DiGiorno football campaign 2015 2016 NFL

“This year we’re taking more of a social influencer approach,” Neithammer said, aiming for tens of millions of views across all digital platforms. To that end, the brand created a series of six-second pieces of content with Twitter and the NFL for second-screen viewing during games as well as six-second pre-roll video ads featuring YouTubers and social media mavens such as Power, Evans and Ray William Johnson.

“What’s great about them,” Niethammer commented, “is they’re great at creating this short-form content. They’ve grown up creating six-second spots and they can tell a story in a short period of time. It’s remarkable.”

In fact, he added, “Our mindset is to be digital-first. But we are so confident that what we created is going to be impactful that we brought it to TV as well.”