The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Denny’s Tumblr

Audience Honor in Tumblr Presence


Rather than try to push product, especially on a platform that angrily eschews brand interference and advertising in general, our main objective for Tumblr was kind of ridiculously silly and simple: just have fun.

Strategy and Execution

With that objective in mind (have fun, relate to the fans and platform) our strategy became one of brand affinity. Our fans on Tumblr don't necessarily need to know when menu items go on discount or which locations participate in which regional deals, because frankly that's not what they're on Tumblr for. They're there for irreverent and goofy gifs, eye-rolling stomach-aching puns and wordplay, basically just all around nutso playfulness. So we did just that, with our own Denny's spin on it—a dude taking a coffee bath, synchronized swimmers in a pool of syrup, kids begging for reblogs and likes just so they can eat a pancake…it's wild, wacky, and weird. And they liked it, and they welcomed us.


So once we were in the good graces of the throngs of opinionated and knowledgeable Tumblr users, the true goal came to fruition. We built a brand affinity unlike any other, for Tumblr at least. Our fans truly loved us, sending us fan mail, making their own Denny's art, begging to be a part of our team. A real fandom was created around our account, the first ever to happen to a brand on said platform. So they might not care about the new ingredients in our pancakes, but they love us and we love them and when they see a Denny's in the wild they think of our blog, they smile, they laugh, they say, "hey dad, pull over."


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Erwin Penland, Denny's


Entry Credits