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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Hip, Funny Brand, GrubHub, Enters Race for Shorty Award: Humor

Entered in Humor


In the corporate world, it's easy for brands to take social media marketing too seriously. Hopefully this award submission will prove to be otherwise. GrubHub is recognized and loved by fans for an irreverent, quick-witted and humorous brand voice – or so our mother says.

In addition to engaging with fans 24/7 (that's right, not just customer service responses…actual fan engagement), GrubHub uses a unique brand voice to stand out from the clutter on social media. The humor isn't just in "#foodporn" and memes, either. GrubHub social channels run the gamut of conversation and content surrounding pop culture, sports, cat videos, GIFs, music, movies, television, taxidermy, puppies, and food…duh.

Time, and time again, brands are called out within articles, blog posts and "listacles", for impersonal, corporate-minded content that doesn't suit the expectations of customers. However, GrubHub uses its unique, humorous brand voice to reach its fans and social media users, speaking in a tone that people look for on social - personable, unscripted and humorous.

Strategy and Execution

Why Does GrubHub Deserve to Win?

In addition to daily Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine content, GrubHub uses its irreverent brand voice to delight followers through social promotions, contests, sweepstakes and ads. While the majority (seriously, we did the math and it's, like, 93.73%) of brands use marketing speak, GrubHub doesn't use jargon* in social content. The only exception is when GrubHub ironically uses buzzwords to highlight the brand voice during a program that fits the corporate mold…say, like our corporate sweepstakes.

Included here are examples of how GrubHub uses humor across social media.

*GrubHub legal does require some of that fine print stuff here and there, but, seriously, who even uses a monocle anymore?


For one our most successful sweepstakes to date, dubbed "Gif or Treat" to capture the Halloween spirit, GrubHub used a Facebook tab that generated either a promo code (treat) or an entertaining and viral GIF for fans upon entry. With this program, GrubHub hoped to achieve the objectives of sharing unique and entertaining content; generating brand awareness; business objectives, synergy, brand winning, pivot tables, internet kittens, and other vague marketing terms.

Cross Promoting Platforms

When promoting contests across platforms, GrubHub drives users to the targeted platform while successfully entertaining and engaging with fans. For example, when driving users to Snapchat from Twitter, GrubHub shared the tweet, "When was the last time you won $50 for sending a snap to a brand? Probably never. Follow 'GrubHub' on @Snapchat to win." This is still one of the most engaging cross-platform tweets from GrubHub.


GrubHub keeps a pulse on pop culture and trending topics to track the opportunities for organically adding humor to social media. For example, when the U.S. watched soccer for the first time in four years, during the 2014 World Cup, we shared an image of U.S. Men's Soccer goalie Tim Howard saving a drip of sauce from a chicken wing, during the #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave trending topic.

GrubHub brings humor to the areas that our fans care and tweet about, especially controversial ones. Like, say…Oh we don't know…Nicki Minaj's music video "Anaconda". What better way to add humor to the already exploding conversation than to share an image of two dumplings watching the music video and excitedly discussing whether they're being mentioned in the song.

Ok, so why should we win?

For every piece of humorous content that GrubHub shared on social media in 2014, it received 32 times more response and user generated content in return from fans. GrubHub has consistently seen that there is a greater return on engagement, entries, leads, redemptions, etc., when humorous brand voice is involved. Knowing the positive feedback and engagement we've received, we will keep the brand voice consistently humorous.

But wait…there's more! GrubHub also encourages its fans to share their personality and contribute to the humor on social. This is done through the weekly caption and pictogram contests on Twitter and Facebook. One of the goals of GrubHub's brand voice is not just share humor and lighten engagement on social, but to also encourage humor and positive interactions within its fan bases. If that's not #payingitforward, I don't know what is.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

GrubHub Holdings Inc.


Entry Credits