Last week Guido Barilla, chairman of the world’s leading pasta maker, said in an interview, he would only portray the “classic family” in his advertisements and, if people objected to that, they should feel free to eat a different kind of pasta. Obviously a statement like this effects a lot of reactions, especially in social media.
Just a few hours later, Bertolli 1865, one of Barilla’s main competitors, posted on their German Facebook page “pasta and love for everybody” showing different kind of noodles jumping into the cooking pan.
It was the most successful German Facebook post of last week. Fans liked, shared and commented on it a lot. A lot of them asked Bertolli to share it on their official English speaking Facebook page as well. This happened two days later.
Let’s check what the remarks of Guido Barilla and the ingenious reaction of the competitors really mean for the Facebook performance of the pasta makers.
On September the 27th, one day after the interview, the Engagement rate of all pages grows. Especially Bertolli 1865 shows a huge peak thanks to their post.
The official Barilla Facebook page also shows a lot of Engagement, but this is due to the the amount of user posts being insulted by Guido Barilla’s attitude. Our graph shows, how many comments were posted on the wall and being ignored by the page (shown in yellow). The same happened on the American and the German page as well.
Surprisingly, Barilla didn’t loose fans. Our graph shows, that they even gained more fans than usual – on any company page.
But the only ones who are still growing is Bertolli 1865. With a post, more than a good idea. It’s a statement. That works on Facebook. Your fans appreciate if you mean what you say, if you are quick to react, creative in your communication and prove courage. Well done.
In the meantime Barilla apologized by publishing the company’s position on chairman Guido Barilla’s remarks.