Grubhub’s new ad is designed like an old-school video game to make you order more food

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GrubHub

    Grubhub is launching a gamified ad on desktop and mobile and within Snapchat. “Food’s Here” is a puzzle game in which players must unscramble the road 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 interactive ad modeled 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 a puzzle game in which players must unscramble the road so a Grubhub driver can 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 the delivery car can reach its destination without hitting any obstacles.

The game has three levels, which get 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, the 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 it wanted to develop an ad that would immerse users 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,” Rosenbluth said. “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 sections of the brand’s consumers, those ages 18 to 45. Grubhub used its demographic data to determine which characters to develop and in which 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. 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,” Rosenbluth said.