On October 26th Guido Barilla said in an interview "if gay people don't like our pasta, they can eat another brand". And with that statement created a trending story in the news. As the main competitor to Barilla we did not want to capitalize on a mistake of others. However as we followed the story throughout the day, we noticed in the comment sections of articles that people were getting Bertolli and Barilla mixed up. And some calling for a boycott of our brand (Bertolli) instead. We needed to reply. Not to Barilla, but to the misinformed.
Instead of going after our competitor, we stated where Bertolli has always stood when it comes to homosexuals and pasta. "Everyone is welcome. Especially if you have an empty stomach". By creating a promoted post and re-posting a commercialfrom 2009 that featured a gay couple - we successfully responded without ever shaming our competitor. The post went viral with 8000+ shares on Facebook and 105,000 shares of the article on Adweek. It was also the most popular post on Facebook in Germany for the month of October. Beating Epic Splits by Volvo. Oh yeah, and it was also shown on 'The Daily Show with Jon f***ing Stewart'!