When someone you admire messes up, messes up really bad, but they handle it so gracefully you admire them all the more…

I’ve been an ardent fan of the @DiGiornoPizza Twitter stream for something close to a year now. I show it to clients as the perfect example of how creative thinking can make any Twitter stream about any product amusing or interesting, or at the very least, stand out for its own unique twist and take on things.

So it was a no-brainer when @Bluetrain Inc. asked which brand’s tone of voice I especially admired. I struggled for a few days with how to reply in less than 140 characters (after the three handles I was to reply to were factored in). Then something happened that propelled my admiration fathoms deeper, I simply can’t reply to Bluetrain Inc’s question within a single tweet at this point.


@DiGiornoPizza uses humour on Twitter, more often than not humour centered on pizza. They play on popular conversations in the Twitterverse about sports, pop culture happenings, and major televised events such as NBC’s ‘The Sound of Music Live!’.

They do something any of us could do anytime, and they do it so it entertains their followers: they brazenly tweet at celebrities who are also active on Twitter: 

The controversy

They also do something very well that any social media marketer of any worth should so sometimes, which is to hop onboard with trending hashtags. But during the days where I was trying to define succintly why I admire @DiGiornoPizza’s tone of voice, they MESSED UP on the trending hashtag tactic. They messed up REALLY BAD. Without checking into what a trending hashtag was about, they threw a pizza joke into an active conversation among victims of domestic violence:


The backlash was immediate. This was no minor error. Tweets of outrage were justifiably pelted at @DiGiornoPizza again and again. They had thrown an innapropriate wrench into an emotionally sensitive conversation, it upset a large number of people.

But then @DiGiornoPizza showed us all how to handle an honest mistake with grace and humility. They began to reply individually to each unhappy reaction that mentioned them – immediately and without delay. They apologized again and again and again, each time with a unique response rather than the typical copy & paste corporate response. Those apologies to individuals have since been deleted, but there is still this:

While this controversial event took place just as I was trying to find the words to succintly express why I admire their brand’s tone on Twitter, @DiGiornoPizza not only clarified what it is about their tone that I admire so much, but they also illustrated it most compellingly under very challenging circumstances.


@DiGiornoPizza’s ‘tweeter(s)’ are actively engaged with PEOPLE. The company has used social meda for what it’s best for: being socially engaging. I admire their playful humour; it’s a tone I wish I could conjure up in myself. But even more so, I admire how whether it’s in humour or in an apology, @DiGiornoPizza responds to WHAT’S HAPPENING and engages with those happenings in a real-time human way that is unusual in a brand’s voice and style.

Thank you for the prompting question @BlueTrainInc, it was a good one!