Caitlin Bowen

Public Relations Specialist

The Food Delivery App That’s Easier Than Pie

About:

For my midterm, I created a mini-campaign for Seamless – an often-overlooked food delivery service, especially on the West Coast. Seamless began in 2009 in New York as its own company, with the application quickly gaining traction on the East Coast. In fact, Seamless gained so much traction that the giant food delivery app, Grubhub, decided to acquire the company in 2013. However, Seamless failed to capture the West Coast audience on its own, and Grubhub’s acquisition greatly reduced the company’s public relations and advertising efforts. Since Seamless was thrown onto the marketing backburner for Grubhub, the company lacks a large social media presence, especially compared to other applications. For example, Seamless’ Instagram account has a mere 32,000 followers, whereas Postmates has 198,000, Uber Eats has 535,000, and Grubhub has 133,000. Although the company offers similar services to the behemoths listed above, the acquisition by Grubhub stunted the company’s PR growth. Since 2013, Seamless has lacked national brand awareness and recognition, fueling my inspiration for this mini-campaign.

Process:

A recent post from the brand’s Instagram page, showing a dismal amount of ‘likes.’

As mentioned earlier, Seamless seems to identify itself as a delivery service that is “easy as pie” – a seamless process (pun intended). Thus, this campaign will play on that adage with the following tagline: “Easier Than Pie.”

Highlighting Seamless’ services as “Easier Than Pie” serves a two-fold purpose. First, it relates to the company’s self-proclaimed mission: the “easiest way to order food for delivery or takeout.” Second, the tagline references two concepts: the colloquial saying that most generations would understand, except for some younger Millennials and Generation Z; and pie, a universal, beloved dish.

The first reference would play upon the audience’s feelings of nostalgia, while the second would be used to uplift local pie shops on the Seamless application. This allows Seamless to capitalize on the growing desire of consumers to patronize small businesses while emphasizing their easy delivery services through a well-known saying. Additionally, if this campaign gains traction, other adages can be adapted for advertising efforts, such as “A Piece of Cake.”

An important note: while some viewers may skip Seamless entirely and order directly from the local restaurant being advertised in the materials, there are always customers who prefer the ease of delivery. That consideration is important to acknowledge, but there is a large market of consumers who would rather have their food delivered to them. The ease provided by food delivery applications like Seamless must be highlighted in this campaign.

Deliverables:

The “Easier Than Pie” campaign includes three graphic design elements, all of which feature local pie shops found on Seamless’ platform:

  • The first is a billboard mockup, which is planned for Los Angeles distribution. However, as a national campaign with no main geographical target, the local restaurant can reflect any location in the U.S., provided that Seamless delivers in that area. The photo featured on the billboard is a pie from The Pie Shop; a ploy to make viewers hungry and entice them to order delivery using the Seamless application.

  • The second element is a targeted advertisement on Instagram. The post is simple, featuring a picture of multiple pies from Pop Pie Co., a popular spot in San Diego. The caption includes the hashtag, “EasierThanPie,” which refers to the campaign, and includes a promo code for first-time Seamless users. Again, this Instagram post is easily translatable to other areas in which Seamless delivers.

  • The third element is a targeted advertisement on Twitter. The tweet is aimed at Chicagoans, and it features a photo of a dessert pie and a pizza pie from two separate restaurants in the area. It also includes a promo code for first-time Seamless users and the campaign’s hashtag, “EasierThanPie.”

All three elements aim to grab the attention of the viewers’ minds and stomachs, encouraging people to try Seamless while also identifying the company with supporting local businesses.

Billboard Mockup – For Los Angeles
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Goals:

A counter-intuitive Instagram post that may actually encourage patrons to use Grubhub over Seamless – the same company, but not the same brand.

My campaign brings Seamless into the spotlight by capitalizing on growing values within the company and within the public. My idea focuses on uplifting the company’s mission: “Seamless is simply the easiest way to order food for delivery or takeout.” In more colloquial (and relevant) terms, Seamless’ delivery application is “easy as pie” – an adage that plays a major role in my proposed campaign. However, to bring Seamless’ easy services into the spotlight, the brand needs to focus on something of value to society.

The COVID-19 pandemic created one of these values; it spurned a new, intense desire for consumers to patronize local restaurants and businesses during these times of financial hardship. Thus, the campaign should promote Seamless as a champion, and supporter, of local restaurants. Delivery applications have come under scrutiny for taking away profits from small businesses, so Seamless should emphasize its commitment to supporting local establishments in this campaign. However, the delivery services offered by the application should be at the forefront of the deliverables. Seamless should take advantage of the renewed focus on small businesses and present itself as the reliable, easy way to support local restaurants.


Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Seamless or Grubhub. This webpage and the included content are only for a class project.