DiGiorno conducts science experiment to show just how much people love the smell of pizza

What gives DiGiorno a leg up over the likes of Pizza Hut and Domino's? According to the frozen pizza brand’s latest marketing stunt, it’s the fact that pizza lovers are actually happier when they’re smelling a pie cooking in the oven than when they are eating a slice.

At least that’s what a social experiment recently conducted by the Nestlé-owned brand found. To conduct the experiment, DiGiorno recruited 24 “real people” to attend three different pizza parties at a New York City loft. During the parties, more than 40 cameras captured footage of guests before and after the pizza was served. Using facial recognition and emotion-tracking software, the brand then analyzed the footage to identify patterns in emotion.

According to DiGiorno, the “highest observable increase in joy” came when the pizza was in the oven. Research found that “partygoers were happiest” when the smell of pizza permeated the room, with joy increasing up to 24 percentage points. When the pizza was taken out of the oven, joy increased up to 20 percentage points. When it was finally served, partygoers experienced an 11 percentage point bump in joy. DiGiorno said that all measurements of joy were compared to five minutes after the beginning of each party.

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

Team N, a bespoke team model of IPG’s Weber Shandwick and Golin, led creative development and executed the social experiment for DiGiorno. Reach Agency created social content to push across the brand’s social channels and use for digital pre-roll ads.

The brand has also created a custom #PowerOfPizza Twitter emoji for pizza fans to share on social media.

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