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a quesadilla-stuffed pizza

An Indulgent Recipe for Viral Food Content

Steve Heisler

a quesadilla-stuffed pizza

Twisted unleashed another of its cooking videos, this time showing off a monstrous quesadilla-pizza hybrid tailor-made for social media shares

Sometimes, viral content needs some time to simmer before it explodes on social media and in our collective stomachs.

A new recipe has gone viral and sparked curiosity, despite looking like a heartburn waiting to happen. Dubbed the “Deep Fried BBQ Chicken Stuffed Pizzadilla,” it resembles a Chicago-style deep dish pizza—pulled BBQ chicken sandwiched at least an inch thick between two tortillas, covered with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni, then deep fried and served with an accompanying ranch dressing dipping sauce. A video is making the rounds on Twitter, sped up and shot vertically, depicting each step of the recipe. Viewers can already taste the Pepto-Bismol.

The video and recipe were originally shared on August 1 and are a creation of Twisted, a brand developed by U.K. media company Jungle Creations. The agency has established five of its own social media-focused brands based on different lifestyle arenas: food, entertainment, crafts, fitness and women’s empowerment. Each keeps up a steady stream of content; in the case of Twisted, they post recipes and newsy features multiple times a day. Having established themselves on social media—Twisted boasts 16 million Facebook followers and 4.3 million Instagram followers—they align with brands to produce sponsored content, like when Twisted constructed mini tacos using Heinz Baked Beans.

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Although it’s been online for weeks, the video for the loaded Pizzadilla went viral after Twitter user @_kurlykay posted the video on August 22 with the caption, “okay but I just wanna know WHY?????” The post has been retweeted more than 4,800 times, has garnered 21,500 likes and elicited 1,800 comments—ranging from disgust to intrigue.

When reached for comment via email, Tom Jackson, the co-head of Twisted, had this to share:

“The response has been incredible to watch. We never could have predicted it. Our recipe videos are all about breaking the rules, being playful with food and entertaining our audience. This video did just that, so it’s a great thing. We’re not prescriptive and embrace the debate,” Jackson wrote in an email.

“On a Monday morning, we sit down as a team and talk about the latest trends, cool recipes we could create that our audience will love and that will get people talking. That’s the point of content at the end of the day. Through these sessions, we come up with the recipes we’re going to create that week, which is where the Pizzadilla was born. It really embodies our approach to food in that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Life’s too short! Thanks to the popularity of our videos and the reach of Twisted, we work with clients on branded content. Something we did for a brand the other week ended up on ‘Good Morning Britain,’ which was fantastic to see. Brands come to us for innovative recipes that will get people talking about their product, that’s our forté.”

Ready to create the next viral sensation? Try cooking up an idea like the Pizzadilla.

Steve Heisler is staff writer at the American Marketing Association. His work can be found in Rolling Stone, GQ, The A.V. Club and Chicago Sun-Times. He may be reached at sheisler@ama.org.