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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Refreshingly Real

Finalist in Multi-Platform Campaign, Restaurants, Paid & Amplification


Life is complicated these days. You can’t even buy a toothbrush on Amazon without being bombarded by 48 pages of options. In an already crowded category, quick service restaurants tend to crowd consumers’ minds with endless menu combos, price variations, and marketing fluff—inevitably leading to decision fatigue. In a world where everything is complicated, we wanted Five Guys to be a Haven of Simplicity. The simple menu, real ingredients, and relatable brand presence would make Five Guys the go-to choice when the rest of the world is just too much.

“Refreshingly Real” shows how a simple, real burger and fries can be a relief from the world’s complexity. Because at Five Guys, what you see is what you get: 100% real, every single day.

GOALS: We were tasked with making Five Guys the meal of choice for more people, more often—while also aiding in the launch of a new consumer app. We defined three main goals based on the customer journey. First, we needed to connect people to Five Guys so they think of us more often - basic awareness. Next, we wanted to help them fall in love with our food and the Five Guys experience - increase consideration. Finally, we needed to convince people to actually try us, we needed them to convert. That means we were looking to increase store visits, online orders, app downloads, and of course: revenue.

Strategy and Execution

Our Strategy was to keep it real across platforms by showing off our fresh ingredients and talking to our audience directly. Since the QSR audience is broad, we hypertargeted parents, sports fans, music enthusiasts, and yes, even the elusive Gen-Zers on their prefered social channels, digital, and streaming audio. 

To ensure success, we knew we needed the right mix of high-level brand awareness, consideration, and conversion tactics. Leveraging our customer journey, we tested new-to-market digital tactics to connect and cultivate the consumer, and ultimately encourage conversion. We tested streaming audio, YouTube, and Pinterest. We also expanded reach in the non-brand search space to capture consumers at the height of decision making.

At the point of conversion, we focused on sending people to our menu and our online ordering site on Meta, through performance max, search, and display. Additionally, we doubled down on our targeting with the more specific audiences, finding ways to specifically connect to things that were relevant and timely to them.


2023 was a banner year for Five Guys. In the year alone, we got over 815.4 million impressions and 12.3 million clicks. And the impressive numbers don’t stop there. Year over year, we increased store visits by 67%, online orders by 29%, and app downloads by 103%. In total, we drove $266 million in revenue–a massive 63% increase over 2022.

Our streaming audio CPA improved 65% year over year with conversion increasing a massive 86%, despite significantly less investment than 2022. Leaning into the Refreshingly Real voice was a powerful message. 

Our sports creative was extremely successful in producing measurable results throughout the year. “Women's World Cup” outperformed all of our 2023 TikTok creative, driving a 55% higher CTR (Click Through Rate). “Audible” was the top performing creative within Pinterest for the year, driving the highest CTR of all creative and outperforming Pinterest's total CTR by 107%. Across all sports moments, we saw excellent CPAs when we tailored our creative to platform:

On top of all of this, our channel testing throughout the year provided valuable learnings, leading us to adopt TikTok and Reddit as core opportunities for more platform-specific advertising in 2024.


Video for Refreshingly Real

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Chemistry, Five Guys


Entry Credits