The five online spots that Tyler Jay’s Tandem, Inc. produced and directed for GrubHub and Seamless generated enough buzz to convince the meal ordering service to move one of them, “On Hold,” into broadcast rotation.
Starring typical twenty-somethings who endure shoddy customer service while attempting to order food on the phone, the campaign mixes the frustration of modern day dining delivery with a dose of slapstick and a pinch of weirdness.
“On Hold” documents a consumer’s devolution from enthusiastic would-be taco eater to delusional underpantsed crazy dancer in a series of quick cuts that helped put the commercial on AdAge’s “HotSpots” list in December. The ranking prompted Grub Hub to double its length and broadcast it as a thirty second spot on several networks.
Jay regards the style as something of a Tandem hallmark.
“We’re very nimble and very agile,” he explains, “and the quality is just as good as if you went with production companies on the coast.”
GrubHub’s GCD Rich McClellan and senior director Susanne Dawursk approached Jay about the campaign last fall, after his work for the 15th anniversary of Mike’s Hard Lemonade earned praise throughout the trades.
“They wanted to talk about viral campaigns that hit upon how difficult it is to order food on the phone,” he remembers.
“We came back with twenty scripts and they bought three of them.”
When he got the green light, Jay enlisted the services of line producer Becky Werve and DP Andrew Dryer and filmed for two days in two separate condominiums on Chicago’s North Northwest Sides. All the actors featuerd in the GrubHub spots, including “On Hold” star Jackson Evans, were cast by Paskal Rudnicke Casting.
For post production, Jay went to Brian Sepanik at The Colonie.
“I knew that this was going to be a high profile piece of business,”he explains. “I’ve got a history with The Colonie and it was a perfect match.”
Comma Music and Particle provided music and sound design, allowing Jay to “pull from their library” to find the “fun, edgy and humorous tone in line with Grub Hub’s brand.”
The Filmworkers Club handled color.
Although pleased with the props he’s received since the campaign launched, Jay is quick to credit its success to the people who worked on it and form part of a network that he has developed over years of experience in the agency and production communities from New York to LA.
And, of course, he gives a big nod to Grub Hub for being a cool client.
“We work with the best and we hope they enjoy working with us,” he says.
“That’s why I call my company Tandem, because we want the client to have a fun ride while they’re working with us, too.”