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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Olo Bags

Finalist in Animated GIFs

Entered in Small Business


Have you ever ordered food online and requested something in the "special instructions" field? Chances are, you may have requested no utensils or maybe extra Sriracha - but some of the users of our platform have taken their "special instructions" in an entirely different direction.

We're Olo - a B2B SaaS company doing digital food ordering for over 9 million users on white-labeled apps and websites for clients like Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Wingstop, Baskin-Robbins, Noodles & Company, and Cold Stone Creamery. In 2014, while scouring our data, our CTO noticed a phenomenon of users requesting drawings on their takeout bags. (The tales of origin of this phenomenon are not entirely known, but like many internet mysteries - can be traced back to Reddit.)

The hundreds of special instructions drawing requests have ranged from giraffe-wearing sombreros to scorpion-fighting wizards - and every strange thing you can imagine in between. Although they probably got a great takeout order, our team was unsure that these customers were satisfied with the store's drawing. For the Olo Bags campaign, our illustrator-in-residence Chris Chatel, bring these drawings to life on each month with GIFs. After getting permission, winning drawing requesters get a framed print of the drawing for their home. The result? Lots of great non-traditional B2B engagement and some really, really excited imaginative customers.

Strategy and Execution

THE UNEXPECTED - In some cases, we reach out for permission and to explain the project months after the order has hit the Olo platform. The element of the unexpected catches our clients' end users by surprise. Unlike a traditional contest - which follows a path of awareness, entry, and outcome - this catches our customers to interact with online ordering in an unexpected way, while reinforcing their relationship with their favorite restaurant chains.

THE MYSTERY - is a top traffic referral to, causing industry prospects and customers to learn more about Olo, a brand that traditionally stays behind the scenes of our white-labeled platform. As a result, visitors from stay longer and look at more pages on average than our typical visitor.

THE DIGITAL/REAL WORLD CONNECTION - Much like our ordering apps and sites connect the digital world to our clients' daily lives, the campaign brings together online and offline elements for an omnichannel experience.

THE RESPONSE - "You guys won the internet for today, and made my week! Excited to keep an eye on Olo and to see the latest as it's revealed on the site. You guys rock!" "This email made my morning!" Olo's mission since 2005 has been to provide customers with better, faster, more personal service from the restaurants they love. There's nothing we love than to make our customers' day just a bit brighter.


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