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Special Project

Special Project
From the 6th Annual Shorty Awards

Denny's Lives on Tumblr

Finalist in Tumblr of the Year


We celebrate the unique, artistic, and flat-out weird-in-the-best-way culture that thrives on the outlet every single day. We highlight our users and we add to the fun. So much so that a lot of our fans aren’t even sure we’re real. If they can’t tell we’re a corporate account, we think we’re doing our job. Tumblr has even told us we’re the number one brand on Tumblr in terms of Community Engagement. Consumer and trade editorials have written about our prowess on the platform numerous times. Why? We just get it. We love Tumblr, and Tumblr loves us. “Denny’s, u okay?" We hear a version of that sentiment so often that it’s practically become a meme in the Denny’s fandom. And yes, a fandom exists for a brand on Tumblr. Amidst rabid fans of Benedict Cumberbatch, Supernatural, Homestuck, Dr. Who, and anything else throngs of Tumblr users dissect with dedication and love, we’ve carved a small corner for ourselves where weirdness and eccentricity is celebrated, with a heaping side of bacon jokes. For over 60 years, serving quality, affordable food has been our number one game. But continuing a tradition of being America’s Diner comes hand in hand with that. When we joined the Tumblr community, we didn’t just want another space to place our ads—we wanted to extend the late night, oddball, got-nothing-to-do-but-not-go-home conversations that occur in our booths every day to an audience of like-minded people. We wanted to bring the experience of hanging out in our restaurants online. Most importantly, however, is deciding not to just talk to the community but be a part of it as well. So we made GIFs and wrote goofy poems and played meme-games with our fans, who we now call our friends. We spoke to them like we’d speak to anyone we cared about, talking about the news, what’s going on with our favorite TV shows, over eggs and pancakes—and it worked. When we say it worked we don’t just mean it increased sales or grew our audience base. It means, they talked back. Like real people. With respect to our place in the community of Tumblr. And we couldn’t be more thankful. So when someone leaves a message in our Ask Box saying “Denny’s wtf, r u okay?" we smile. Most of our followers know how we operate. But to keep surprising people with our goofy content and our natural use of the platform, so much so that users are mind-blown that we’re an actual corporate account? We couldn’t be happier. It means we’re doing our jobs right. And we’re more than fine with not being “okay."

Strategy and Execution


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Erwin Penland Advertising


Entry Credits