GrubHub's new ad is actually an old school video game designed to make you order more food

  • GrubHub is launching a gamified ad on desktop, mobile and within Snapchat.
  • “Food’s Here” is akin to a puzzle game, where players must unscramble the road that a Grubhub driver would take to deliver food to a customer.
  • The brand wanted to develop an ad that was immersive and engaging.

GrubHub doesn’t just want you to use its app to order food, it also wants you to use it for your entertainment.

The food delivery brand is the latest to tap into gaming for its marketing efforts, with a new ad that is actually a game modelled after retro, arcade-style video games.

The old-school style game,”Food’s Here,” lives on Grubhub’s desktop and mobile website as well as on Snapchat. It was developed in partnership with TreSensa, a company that makes and distributes playable ads for brands.

Food’s Here is akin to a puzzle game, where players must unscramble the road that a Grubhub driver would take to deliver food to a customer. The road is broken up into different puzzle pieces, and must be flipped into the right position by tapping the screen, so that the delivery car can reach its destination without hitting any obstacles along the way.

There are three different levels of the game, and each level gets progressively harder.

“So much of advertising today is a passive experience, and we really wanted to make ours a sticky and engaging experience,” Mallorie Rosenbluth, head of social media at GrubHub told Business Insider. “We wanted to take control as the brand, make this a real engagement play and get a true sense of how much time our consumers spend with the game, interact with it and also reward them along the way.”

Grubhub has traditionally been focused a lot more on out-of-home and TV advertising, but wanted to develop an ad that allows the user to be completely immersed with the brand. The brand thinks of Food’s Here as the digital reincarnation of its punny and vibrant marketing campaigns.

“When you’re doing regular campaigns, you don’t really get a sense of what an impression actually is, or how much of a return on your investment you’re actually getting,” said Rosenbluth. “Here we actually get to measure intent and engagement in tangible terms, from the number of swipe-ups on the Snapchat version, to how many people play how many levels and even the amount of time they spend on the game.”

The gamified ad also caters to various different sections of the brand’s consumers, those between the ages of 18 and 45. Grubhub looked at its demographic data to determine what characters to develop, and in what scenarios. Based on those segments it has developed two versions of the game: a college-themed version and a general version.

GrubHub is hardly the first brand to have experimented with gaming. Last summer, Gatorade launched a Serena Williams-inspired video game ad tied to the US Open on ESPN’s Snapchat Discover channel and more recently, Pepsi launched “Pepsi Summer Quest,” a Temple Run-style game within Snapchat. W Hotels too launched a Frogger-inspired video game to tout the opening of a new hotel this summer.

But the brand hopes to test and learn, and then apply those takeaways to its digital ad efforts moving forward.

“Right now we’re integrating it into our own product experience and Snapchat, but we hope to expand on it further,” said Rosenbluth.

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