Consumer Campaign, Winner: Denny’s and Erwin Penland

This outstanding campaign was a departure for Denny’s in several ways. The new pancake recipe was the first major product change in recent history, and Denny’s typically promotes limited-time offers rather than products.

The effort was a resounding success, garnering nearly 200 million total impressions (36 million+ in earned media alone), 949,000 engagements, and 2 million+ completed video views. Denny’s also reported impressive increases in pancake preference share, brand quality perception, and sales.

A one-question consumer survey — “Who makes the best pancakes you’ve ever had?” – revealed that Denny’s would be competing against its own customers as well as other restaurants.

The team came up many creative ways to communicate that the new pancakes from Denny’s might well top homemade pancakes and invested heavily in online channels.

Activations included an animated Pancake character who answered audience questions on Facebook Live, custom episodes of Denny’s popular animated series “The Grand Slams,” and a rejection simulator on Dennys.com that let customers practice breaking the news to family members that Denny’s new pancakes were the best.

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