GrubHub and Duncan Channon Made an Ad from 10 Hours of Taco-Focused Improv

By Patrick Coffee 

When tasked with documenting some very real everyday dudes doing very real everyday things, different brands can take very different approaches.

For example, Bud Light’s new campaign, which launched last week, is a tightly-scripted depiction of one year(?) in the life of two best buds going through the motions of being 30-something actors cast to play 20-something Middle Americans.

But while Wieden + Kennedy took what we have to call a “traditional” approach involving a clear narrative, GrubHub and its newest agency partner Duncan Channon created an improvised, actor-free ad.


That was the first time we’ve heard a taco described as “dank.” Perhaps the act of ordering said tacos was prefaced by another sort of friendly ritual.

The release explains that GrubHub opted for a “different and risky approach” by finding a group of IRL “genuine and creative” buds in Austin and filming them doing the non-actor’s version of improv for like 10 hours. (This was after the director “spent a few days getting to know them.”)

The goal was to create a totally unscripted spot in keeping with the company’s 2016 rebrand. First there was a new logo designed by Wolff Olins, then (apparently) a creative agency review. As noted in the case study, the client wanted to bring customers closer to the food the love while focusing on “the special moments in everyday life that matter to them.”

Kinda like getting super blazed and scoring some tacos.